As you know, divorce is really difficult. It becomes even more difficult when there are kids in the picture. Keeping the children as unaffected as possible is a challenging task but what is even more of a hurdle is breaking it to your children that you are getting a divorce.
To make the process easier for you, here are 5 tips to help you in doing this sensitive and dangerous conversation with your kids.
- Break the news together
- Encourage children for questions
- False hopes
- Be civil with your ex spouse
- Family therapy
BREAK THE NEWS TOGETHER
Both of you should be together when telling your kids that you are getting a divorce. Even if the divorce is a one-sided decision, you should come off as it is a mutual and mature decision. This would make your kids feel comfortable that both of their parents will be with them together.
- Have a conversation among just the two of you first to decide how you are going to explain the situation. Also think of similar answers to some questions your kids may ask. Both of you should have similar reason on why you are separating.
- Try to use ‘we’ a lot as it will give them assurance and not fear for the future. You should not start blaming each other.
ENCOURAGE CHILDREN FOR QUESTIONS
This is a life-changing decision for more than just two lives. Children get really confused and concerned about this so they get a lot of questions in their mind. Although, they will not be easy to answer, encourage your children to ask you any question they have regarding this.
- Do not tell them everything right away if they ask about the reason of divorce.
- When they ask about where they will be living and it is not confirmed at the moment, give them an assuring answer. Tell them that wherever they will be, they will be safe and would be meeting both of you whenever they want even if one will be moved out physically.
- It is okay to say that you do not know yet on some questions like if any of you will remarry.
The most important thing about this conversation should be honesty. Do not lie and give them false hope about anything.
- Be clear about giving them the idea of future about who will be visiting and how often.
- The person who moves out should not stay over because this gives a wrong sign which is misleading.
BE CIVIL WITH YOUR EX SPOUSE
Although you and your partner are separating, you should be civil for your children. This will make the parenting better and easier.
- Your children should not feel like they have to choose between any of you so do not be fighting or taunting at each other around kids.
- Neither is it okay to badmouth your ex spouse in front of your kids, nor should you allow the kids to do so. You should make your kids respect both of you.
- Do not try to get out any information about your ex spouse through the kids. Do not ask about anything personal like whether he or she is dating someone. That should not be children’s business and gives them false hope that you are still interested in your ex spouse.
You two might be separated but your kid or kids make you all a family. So all of you should attend family therapy. The benefits family therapy would give you are:
- This will make the children clear about the situation. They will accept the fact that you two are separating and would not try to do things to make you get back together.
- Family therapy sessions involves the whole family as a unit but different sub-units are also possible according to the situation.