Divorce is a significant life event that can have a profound impact on everyone involved, especially children. As a result, you must broach the subject appropriately to help your children cope with the many changes to come.
With the right approach, you can provide children with reassurance and security right when they need it most.
Choose the right time and place
A quiet, comfortable setting is key when discussing a subject as serious as divorce. Be sure to choose an area that offers privacy and is free from distractions. Also, make sure you have ample time to address any questions or concerns that may arise.
Avoid blame and conflict
In most cases, children benefit from maintaining a strong relationship with both parents after a divorce. Accordingly, you should keep negative emotions out of the conversation. Instead, focus on the fact that the decision is about what is best for the family.
Your child will likely experience a lot of conflicted emotions during the conversations. That is why you should encourage them to express their feelings and concerns freely. Listen actively without interrupting or passing judgment. Also, be empathetic and validate their emotions.
Answer questions honestly
It is natural for children to have questions about divorce. Parents must address these questions honestly while also keeping language age-appropriate. If you do not know the answer, let them know that you will find out or seek help together.
Consistency can provide comfort during uncertain times. Accordingly, try to keep routines and rules consistent, so your children feel a sense of stability during the transition.
If you believe your children would benefit from it, consider involving a counselor or therapist who specializes in helping kids cope with divorce. Professional guidance can be immensely helpful when children experience significant emotional effects after their parents’ divorce.
Divorce can have a lasting impact on children and may even increase their chance of divorcing as adults by 189%, according to Psychology Today. While you cannot predict the future, using the right approach when discussing divorce with kids will help them feel safe and supported.