When breaking the news to your children, both parents need to talk to their children in a calm and relaxed way. This helps to make them more aware of what may happen in the future and allows them to begin to prepare emotionally for it while still at home with their family unit intact. Children may ask questions or express concern; they need to hear it from two sources rather than one if you hope for understanding and cooperation. To help you out, here are some pointers when talking to your children:
- Be honest and direct. Of course, you have to adjust your choice of words depending on your children’s age, but don’t sugarcoat the truth.
- They need to know what’s happening. Tell them the changes that will occur, especially the ones that will affect them.
- Discuss where your child with stay, and with whom, and how often they’ll be able to see the other parent. Needless to say, this one requires input from a child custody attorney, so make sure you consult with one first.
- Also include discussions about where they’ll study (or whether they’ll continue studying in the same school), their extra-curricular activities, and other related things.
- Don’t forget to emphasize that your love for them has not changed.
Children have a right to know both parents love them equally and that there is no better father than their father and no better mother than their mother—no matter who was physically present with them at any given moment before the separation occurred. Children also deserve to know they can still talk to their father and mother, or whichever parent they choose to call after school, on the weekends and holidays.
Keep a Cool Head for Your Children
It will help your children if they have both a mother and a father who is involved in their lives and spend time together rather than fighting each other and the courts over custody arrangements and visitation times. Yes, those matters are also important, but it’s also critical to still maintain a relationship with your kids and be there when they need them! Don’t ignore the fact that children are often neglected during divorce proceedings because the parents are most likely going through a lot. Even though all the emotional work involved in a divorce, it’s critical that parents pay attention and care for their child as much as possible. They, too, need emotional comfort because they’re receiving the brunt end of the whole situation.
Cooperation and Proper Approach
Give Time for Adjustment
For a lot of kids, this is a hard adjustment to make and a significant change in their lives, but if their parents can help them through it, there is no doubt that they’ll do better in life for it (and so will the parents). Don’t rush them to accept the situation. Give them time to process everything that’s happening. Let them have the space that they need, and don’t force them under the thought that “it’s okay.” This won’t happen overnight, but remember that your child needs you to give them the time and space that they need in order to come out of this difficult time stronger and with a better understanding than before. They may be grieving and going through a lot right now (just like the parents), but things will get better with enough support from their families.
What Parents Can Do
It’s important for parents to make sure that their children feel loved despite being away from each other. Try not to argue in front of your children as it obviously has negative effects on their development and emotional well-being. In some cases, children might blame themselves for causing the divorce, and when this happens, it is your responsibility to make them understand that the blame isn’t theirs to take. It’s never the children’s fault, and it’s vital that they understand this. Children need the presence of both their parents, but in case it isn’t possible, make sure that they still have good role models as they grow up.