Talking with your children about your divorce
Sometimes when a marriage ends, the people who get hurt the most is the children. It’s hard for them to understand what happens, especially if they are very young. They may have seen you fight and they are well aware that something is wrong. And what is even harder is trying to tell the children that you are getting a divorce.
According to Psychology Today, there are not many studies on how parents should talk to their children about divorce, and even less research on how children react. However, the website does provide a few tips of what you should say to your children:
- Consider the environment of where you will tell your children. They are probably going to remember this moment for the rest of their lives.
- You should tell your children as a whole family at one time, not individually. Do not shelter the youngest child and burden the older one.
- You can’t predict how the child will react. Like every individual, the response is different from child to child. There may be anger and there may be relief.
- Try to end your divorce as quickly as possible. The longer it draws out, the harder it is on your children…and yourself.
- Always answer your children’t questions, no matter how painful or personal they may be. Be truthful and don’t try to sugar coat it with “It’ll be OK.”
- Be a unit and say you are both at fault for the divorce. Don’t try to say it one person’s fault. This can cause the child to find unity in one parent over the other.
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