How to tell your Children about Divorce ?
Every parent that unfortunately had to go through this, knows the struggle. At first, it sounds easy, you just sit calmly and explain it to your child, as you expect that they probably even understand from all the fights and disagreements between you two. But the entire point is that children do not process it the same way we do. The way you are going to handle this situation is going to affect your child significantly. So make sure to handle it in the right way, for your every child is different, therefore every approach must be different. Parenting is a test at this point.
The need for security is the most important thing to remember, and children should always have the opportunity to express themselves emotionally in whichever way it is. After receiving the news they might get very angry, or silent and shy, varying greatly from one child to another. And you must be prepared for all sorts of reactions (from complete silence to throwing tantrums).
There is definitely no perfect way of dealing with this, so here are some pieces of advice on how to do The Talk with your children.
1. Be United This Time
Even if the decision for a divorce was strongly one-sided, it is important for the child to believe that you both decided equally on divorce. You should also try incorporating the word “we” as much as you can, even though it may be hard to. A child must feel secure at all times, and they need to know that they can always count on both of you. Leaving the bitterness aside is one of the key things when it comes to these kinds of situations. It is no time for accusations and bad-mouthing.
Leave it aside, and focus on the well-being of your child. For those couples who find it extremely hard to get their act together even just for their kids, a well-thought out option is turning to experienced divorce lawyers in Sydney or their area of residence who can then act as mediators between the spouses while they have the talk with their child.
2. Do It At Home
It is much easier for a child to cope with such a shock in a familiar environment. If they get very upset, they can easily access both of you, in their home, and you can control the situation much more easily.
3. Allow Them To Feel
Even if it is heart-breaking for you to watch your child suffer, you must let them. Whatever kind of feelings they have at that moment are normal – extreme anger, sadness, resentment, confusion, you name it. You must let them feel all the palette of not-so-great emotions, so they can eventually go through it and heal. Do not try cheering them up into the sentence that everything is going to be just fine, but rather acknowledge the suffering of your child and accept it as a natural, healing part.
4. Be Clear About The Future
The first thing that pops onto your child’s mind when you tell them you are getting separated is “Who is going to take care of me now?”. Smaller children have a very narcissistic point of view as they see everything through their own needs. And you must meet those needs, otherwise, the child will suffer. Make sure to be clear about your future plans. With whom are they going to live, where, when are they going to the other parent, and so on. Do not include your child into decision making, as this time especially is not the time for a child to see you indecisive. They must know and feel that you are going to be there for him even more than before.
In the end, it is important to remain open to any kind of reaction. Do not get confused if your child starts worrying the most about how his birthday party will now take place in a smaller house, or something similar.
Children are egocentric, so it is a completely expected reaction that they start worrying about the smallest things regarding their everyday life. Also, keep in mind that once you have finished the first talk, you have only opened the doors for all the divorce-related talks that are going to come along. And for the end – always, always be completely honest with your child.
Share with us your thoughts in the comment section. It’s a delicate situation, but the one going through it , needs to face it.
Stay Happy and Blessed!