Divorce is an unfortunate process that can affect the entire family, children included. When considering ending a marriage, one of the first questions parents have is, “How am I going to tell the kids?”
Despite being stressed, emotional and uncertain it is important to consider how the kids will feel. A well-thought-out plan to talk to your kids is a good place to start. Minor children’s brains and emotions are still in their formative years and they deserve special consideration when facing a divorce of their parents.
4 tips to help children deal with divorce
When planning to talk to your kids about an upcoming divorce, it is important to set your emotions aside and focus on the child, here’s how:
- Give them space: Once the news of the divorce is communicated to the kids, it can be helpful to give them some time and space to process the information. Pressuring them to make an opinion or decision should be avoided until they have incorporated the information into their minds and hearts.
- Be a stabilizing force: Even the idea of divorce injects instability and unanswered questions into the situation. Young children need to know that stability can be found in their parents even if they are no longer married.
- Dependability: Being consistent and dependable even while adjusting to new schedules and responsibilities can help children to learn to lean on you. Now is the time that children need to see evidence that they can trust, rely and depend on you as a parent.
- Keep the kids out of it: The more that children can be separated from the process of divorce, the better. Try your best to not be too transparent with your kids about your feelings, or overly updating them on every single development in the divorce process. Using your kids as messengers or spies between spouses should be avoided.
All divorces have their problems. During such a sensitive time it is important to protect the children from unnecessary involvement in your divorce. Stability, consistency, patience and love are what will help children transition to their new circumstances following their parents’ divorce.