How To Talk To Your Kids about Divorce and Help Them to Cope
Divorce can put pressure on every member of the family, especially children.
It is often helpful to be positive in cases like this and see it as the best choice for future happiness.
Children are hit the hardest in cases of parents divorcing. They usually end up blaming themselves. You can do a lot to help your child cope and reduce the bad effects of divorce on them. It is important to know how and when to tell your children about the divorce from your partner. Talking to the children at an early stage is much better than leaving it to later stage.
Although the marriage is ending, children still need to feel a sense of trust. You can begin by saying “for a long time Mum and Dad tried to get along and be happy together, but we’re still not happy with each other. So we decided not to live together anymore”.
At that stage children will have many questions such as where will the live, when will they see each of you and where will they go to school. Share that information with them if you know the answers. If you don’t promise them that you will let them know once everything is sorted out.
You will be able to help your children cope with divorce by using the following tips:
Always be open and approachable to your kids. Talk to them about the divorce. Don’t ignore what is happening between you and your partner, talk about it to your kids. Let your kids know that they can talk about the divorce whenever they want to and let them know that it’s okay to talk about it.
You need to accept the anger and disappointment that comes from your children. Listen to their feelings about the subject of divorce and accept that it is natural for them to have such emotions.
Talk to your child about their fears and allow them to cry if they need to do so.
Make sure that your kids know that the divorce is not their fault. Help them come to terms with their feelings. It is important that you don’t show feelings of anger around your kids. Such action causes them to withdraw. Allow your kids to maintain a positive relationship with both parents and show them that you trust them to adapt to the changes.
Let your children know that Mum and Dad love them dearly and give them lots of affection to make them see your love and support. You need to provide your kids with the stability they need at this time of change. Try to maintain the familiar routines of your child even though significant changes might occur.
Always inform your children of any changes ahead of time. Let them know before the change happens so they get prepared for it. Reassure them that all things will begin to improve.
It is better if change is done gradually and slowly and let your children express themselves on how they feel about the changes. Also, explain the visitation arrangements. Again always reassure the kids that both parents love them dearly and that they will have special times with both parents.
Support your child’s need to visit the other parent and their desire to love both parents. Tell them that you support those feelings. It will help them to cope even better.
Always try not to belittle your ex in the presence of kids and have something positive to say about your partner. This will ease some of the tension of the divorce for your child. Try to find the strength to be civil towards each other.
Make arrangements for special events such as birthdays and holidays.
A Few Don’ts:
- Don’t ask your child to deliver a message. Talk to your ex yourself if you need to talk about something, don’t use your child as a buffer.
- Don’t ever ask your children which parent they care more about.
- Always: Stop and think about how your words may affect your kids.
Divorce can certainly disturb your life’s expectations, but it doesn’t have to affect how you raise your children. Remember their needs, too, and you’ll both persevere through these hard times.