While divorce is very hard on adults, it is even more so for any children involved. That is why so many parents struggle with how to break the news to their children.
It is difficult to talk to your kids about divorce, taking the right approach can mitigate a lot of anger and hurt feelings. Here are a few important steps to take.
Emphasize that it is not their fault
Many children mistakenly assume responsibility for their parents’ divorce, so it is imperative that they understand otherwise. While you do not need to convey the actual reason behind the split, you must make them aware that it had nothing to do with them. You should also make it clear that the divorce will not affect their relationship with you or your ex-spouse.
Use age-appropriate language
Younger children do not need a lot of details when you are discussing the divorce. Instead, focus on the fact that it is the best course of action for the family, and it will ultimately make you and your former spouse happier. When it comes to older children, they may ask for more details. They may also want to know how the split will influence their living situation and where they attend school.
Prepare for a wide range of reactions
Children will experience a variety of emotions upon learning of the divorce. Some may respond with sadness, while others will appear angry. They may become frustrated with the situation or worry about their future, especially if you are planning a move. No matter what emotions they express, you must accept them and make an effort to provide consolation. It is also likely that your child will have lots of questions, which you should answer the best you can.
While your children will still experience negative emotions regarding the split, your actions can make a huge difference. Taking the above steps ensure your kids feel safe and loved during the process.