Telling kids that their parents are getting a divorce may be one of the hardest things you ever do. However, with some planning, you can help your children through this difficult time.
Clear your schedules
Find a large block of time when you and your spouse can tell the children together and not be distracted or interrupted. Don’t do it just before school or bed or in the car on the way to sports practice. You need to find a time when the children can react, ask questions and absorb what’s happening. You will also want to free up your schedule in the days after you tell the children. Your children will need extra attention from both of their parents and will likely ask lots of questions.
Practice what you’ll say
Even though you and your spouse may be at odds, you’ll need to work together for the sake of the children. Plan exactly what you will say, who will say it and how the news will be delivered. Don’t blame the other, avoid arguing during this time and don’t try to get the children to take sides. Reassure the kids that this decision isn’t their fault and has nothing to do with them. It’s about the grown-ups and something that you have decided together.
Telling Kids and Then Others
Once you tell the children, be sure to talk to their teachers, caregivers, coaches and anyone else who regularly comes into contact with each of the children. Let them know about the divorce and ask them to watch for any unusual behavior or signs that they are having extreme difficulty dealing with the divorce.
It may be tempting to show your own emotions during this time-and that’s OK! But, be sure not to put the children in the position of being the grown-up and comforting you. Also, try to avoid the temptation to have the children tell you what the other parent is doing or saying. They are children, not spies or messengers to get your thoughts to their other parent.
Finally, strongly consider finding a therapist who can help the entire family deal with the many changes the divorce will bring.
- Posted by Mary Foley Panszi
- On November 7, 2016
- 0 Comments