Did you know that divorce isn’t always painful to children? If the parents have consistently been fighting in front of their children, a divorce might be good for everybody. Some kids develop positive traits after their parents’ divorce. In such cases, the children become more responsible, mature and sensitive. Despite or because of the effects of divorce on children, it’s important for parents to identify the best ways of breaking the news of the impending breakup to the young children to avoid making a bad situation worse for the little ones.
The approach that you choose for telling your kids that you’re getting divorce depends on their age. The personality of the children also determines the path that you should take. It’s much better for children to grow in a house containing both parents. It’s normal for kids to want to see their parents and the entire family together. Consequently, they might not respond well to news regarding a pending divorce. Life has a way of breaking things up, and your family might have to go through such a devastating experience.
Therefore, how should you break the news to your children?
1. Show Unity
Despite the impending divorce, nothing prevents both parents from displaying a united front when breaking such devastating news to the young ones. The children need to see you together before the challenges and problems associated with the court process begin. The divorce should be a joint agreement between the two parents. The truth regarding whose decision it is to divorce should not dissuade the two of you from presenting the news to your children jointly. After all, this isn’t about your feelings as adults but the emotional wellness of your children.
2. Speak with the Family
Until the divorce is finalized, you still have a family. Children are part of the family. Let the whole family gather in one place to hear the news. Afterwards, spend time with each child to check how the news has gone down. Ask your children how they received and are handling the news individually. While sharing the news with all children is highly advisable, you might need to evaluate the impact on each child first before taking this approach. Where one child’s reaction might upset another one, you should share the news separately with each child.
3. Know and Plan what to Share
Spend time planning what to share with or say to the children. This isn’t the time for improvising or thinking on your feet. Develop the key messages that you want your kids to hear. Preparing for unpredictable reactions from the children is always a good decision. The children might respond differently from what you’re expecting. Don’t forget that children are hopelessly egocentric. Therefore, their first thoughts are likely to be on how the news of the divorce affects their lives. They might not think of your sadness. Therefore, make the children the focus.
Lastly, it’s advisable to create time for your children to ask questions. The children might not ask questions immediately you inform them about your divorce. Let them know that you’re willing to meet with each of them separately at any time to answer their questions. Whatever you do, let the kids know that you’re united in this decision. Don’t use this opportunity to talk ill about the other parent. Let the children know and understand that they are not responsible for the divorce. Above all, respect their feelings since this isn’t what they wanted to hear.