Divorce is always going to be difficult for your kids to get their heads around. It’s hard enough for you, and you had a choice in it. They will feel very fragile and delicate about it, and it will unleash lots of emotions in them that you should be prepared to handle as and when they come along. Be ready for them to blame themselves – it is up to you to make them realise it is not their fault.
Children will be upset by divorce, but there are things that you can do to make sure they cope with it as well as possible – it all starts and ends with good communication. You and your ex-partner are going to have to put your differences aside and act as a team when it comes to delivering the news and handling the inevitable fallout. Here’s how to handle it:
You may not usually be able to sit in the same room together anymore, but for the sake of your kids you are going to have to do just that. Sit them all down together and explain carefully what is happening, how it will happen and reassure your kids you will stay friends. Don’t ever argue in front of them. It will be good practice for you both to act amicably towards each other even if you are not feeling it. The friendlier you are with each other, the more chance the kids will feel reassured.
Choose a Good Time
You need to pick your moment. This means discussing it with your spouse first to agree how to deliver the news. Then, choose a time when all of the kids are around and not too tired. Make sure there are no plans directly afterwards – you won’t want to deliver the news then take them off to ballet or football practice like nothing has happened.
Don’t Blame Anyone
Don’t let the kids feel for one minute it’s their fault, but also avoid the temptation to blame each other. Letting the kids know who did what is a bad idea – that is just between the two of you. The kids should never be encouraged to blame either the mother or the father for the break-up of the family.
They should just understand divorce is sometimes a sad fact of life. Keep any indiscretions such as affairs between the two of you. They may ask or find out when they are older, but for the time being it is not worth mentioning.
Reassurance is the Key
Make sure your children know they will still have regular access to both of you. Tell them how much you both love them, and how you two being apart won’t make you love them any less. Tell them you intend to stay good friends (even though this may be hard at first). If you mean it, that’s even better because the more amicable it is, the easier it will be for you both to.
Handling divorce with children is all about honesty. They will respect you for it and understand in the end.
Today’s feature writer, Marcus Evans, is a freelance blogger who currently works for one of the best family lawyers in Frankston. He likes to blog about things affecting his family’s life. He likes sports and is a big soccer fan.