Even if you know a divorce is an answer to your marriage problems, you might feel concerned about its impact on your children. Acknowledging that changes to your family dynamic will affect your children can help you prepare for the challenges ahead.
Telling your children about your divorce is one of the first things you will need to do. Knowing the right way to go about this sensitive topic may facilitate a productive conversation.
Consider age and maturity
Each of your children will process the news of your divorce differently. Their ages and maturity will influence their responses. According to Today’s Parent, divorce experts suggest a different approach to your conversation for children ages 0-5, 6-11 and 12-14. Even still, if you have children with developmental delays or behavioral problems, you may need to consider another approach entirely.
Wait for an appropriate time to begin the conversation. Minimize distractions and emotionally prepare to answer difficult questions. Listen intently to your children and help them understand that feeling emotional is a normal and necessary part of processing the news.
Reaffirm your love and devotion
Despite your explanation, your children might still feel as though your divorce is their fault somehow. Reaffirm your love for your children and your commitment to caring for them. Have them help you make some family goals that everyone can work toward together. Encourage camaraderie and teamwork.
Do your best to keep your children’s routine as stable and normal as possible. They will appreciate structure. Your effort to approach the news of your divorce with careful honesty can help your children begin the road to healing.