One of the most challenging conversations you may have with your children is talking to them about divorce. While you may feel devastated, your children may feel hurt and overwhelmed.
Over 1 million children become affected by divorce every year. You should expect emotional trauma before, during and after the divorce. Here are four tips to help your children cope.
1. Present a united front
Plan what you will say and speak to your children as a couple and tell them at the same time. Do not finger point and blame the other parent for the divorce. Do not argue in front of them.
2. Tell the truth
Be open and honest. Your children need to know precisely what is going on and how the changes will affect them. Tell them about:
- Which parent is leaving the house
- Who they will live with
- Will they have to move
- When will this all happen
Depending on their age, give your children the reasons for the divorce.
Provide opportunities for the children to express their feelings. They will go through a myriad emotions. They may say they hate you, tell you it is all your fault or throw temper tantrums.
Your children will need reassurance that the divorce is not their fault. Let them know you and your spouse will be there for them to talk to, and you will answer questions they have.
Try to keep their routine as stable as possible, but pay close attention to signs that they are struggling. Give them time to adjust to the change.