Telling the Children

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Telling the Children

It’s not easy to tell your children that their parents are getting a divorce, but it’s a necessary step so that they can begin to work through and accept the changes. A lot of research shows that kids raised in a tense environment are far worse off than those raised in a divorced-parent home. If children grow up seeing fighting and abuse on the part of their parents, they are destined to suffer from it. It’s possible for kids to grow and thrive in a single-parent home, provided that certain conditions are met. A good way to help your child cope is to be upfront with them. Here are some tips on breaking the news to your kids:

• No matter how old they are, you need to tell them of the divorce in an age-appropriate manner. If one parent is closer to the child than the other, that parent should be the one to tell them.
• It’s essential that neither parent try to place the blame on the other. This can sometimes cause a child to “pick sides”- which is unhealthy. Kids should never feel like one parent is good and one is bad.
• Similarly, the kids must be told that the divorce is not their fault. At first, almost all kids feel some kind of responsibility for it- this is where the parents need to step in and make it clear that they are not to blame. If done correctly, they will not only know that they’re not at fault for the divorce, they’ll also know that there’s nothing they can do to bring their parents back together.
• Don’t tell them until both you and your spouse are absolutely sure that the decision is made. Tell them on a day where you can spend a lot of time together. When a child finds out that their parents are divorcing, they’ll feel scared and insecure- and will need you there to help them cope.
• Give them some idea of what to expect in the future, such as school and living arrangements. If they know what’s going to happen, they’re less likely to feel frightened and unsure.
• Be there to answer any questions they may have- even if it means answering the same ones over and over again.

Telling your children about an upcoming divorce is a hard thing to do, and each family handles it a little differently. Hopefully, the tips provided here can make the process a little easier.





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