The impact of a divorce does not manifest so much between the two spouses as much as they do with children. When things are left unexplained, kids often ponder over the reason for the separation amidst all the anxiety, sadness, and confusion. Sometimes, they would even take the blame themselves.
Jennifer Lewis, a divorce attorney from Denver, Colorado, advises spouses on how to handle the family stress that comes with the divorce process. Instead of trying to mask the divorce as a disregardable event, sit your child down and keep these communication tips in mind before breaking the news to them:
The Truth Matters
Transparency is always key when dealing with your children.
“Divorce is always good news,” remarked comedian Louis C.K. “I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.”
No matter how old the child is, you should always try to make your kids understand why they will no longer have a father and mother in one household. Let them know that the divorce did not just happen for no reason.
They may not completely comprehend the situation at the moment, but they will reach a certain age when they can piece everything together on their own. Even just a short explanation can go a long way, which is much better than keeping them in the dark.
Say No to Negativity
The biggest mistake a parent could make in talking to their children about divorce is asking them to choose between their parents. When explaining the reason for the separation, it is best to keep the conversation free of any negative influence or manipulation against the other parent.
Remove all negativity surrounding the separation. It can be tempting to be self-deprecating or toxic during the process, but remember that it is also your child’s first experience with divorce.
As younglings, your kids search for guidance outside of themselves. You’re the best person to fill in that role. Power through the storm with them and not just for them.