Things To Do Before Telling Children About Divorce
Follow a strategy to announce your divorce so that the impact is minimal on your children:
Think from your child’s perspective: Your child may not understand what you say if you talk to them like you talk to an adult. Think like a child, and imagine how you would feel as a child if your parents are separating. Try to strike that chord with your kid. Write down what you want to tell your child, and the examples you might want to use to make them understand the situation.
Keep it realistic: If you and your partner have divided the responsibility of the children, then give them the details in a practical way. Tell them how the divorce is going to affect their daily routine, for example, “Mom is going to drop you at school, but I will take care of you during the weekends.”
It’s not done yet: Your job is not over with you breaking the news to your child. Kids take time to absorb and digest the change in their life. Support them during this time and be prepared to handle their tantrums.
Be honest: If your children see that you are unhappy about the divorce, so be it. Do not hide your feelings from them. Believe them as they are the ones who can empathize with you. Their life is also being altered just like yours.
Take help when required: If you are stressed out with the situation or if your kids are finding it tough to cope, take professional help from a family counselor who can suggest ways to deal with the situation.
Stick to routines: Don’t let divorce disturb your kid’s routine. Let them go to the same school, day-care, and play with the same friends, and do activities. This is important to give your child some stability during a very hard time. It will help the children understand that their life is not affected by divorce.
In spite of taking due care and considering several things while breaking the news of divorce, there can be a certain amount of impact on your child. Children might have a hard time dealing with it. How can you help your kids deal with it, rather how can you protect your child during divorce?
Reviewed by Ronald R. Petroff (Family Attorney)
Written by Kalpana M
June 9, 2020