Divorce is very much a reality in our country and almost as many people that have successful marriages are getting divorced. In many of these cases, children are involved and both parents have to sit down at some point and figure out how they are going to tell the children that mommy and daddy are not together any longer.
Sitting down with the kids is a big step for most couples, because this means the divorce is real. While some couples are able to reconcile after the announcement is made, this “talk” is what makes the divorce official. But, keep in mind that it will hit the children just as hard, if not harder, than it hits the divorcing couple.
How Are You Going to Talk to the Children?
Is this something you plan on doing separately or as individuals? The best route to go here is to talk to talk to them together. This may be difficult for you to do as a couple, but it will show the children that where they are concerned, you are able to put your differences aside and do what is best for them, period.
What Types of Feelings Can You Expect?
One of the first things many children will say when they hear that mom and dad are going to get a divorce is, “Is it something I did?” Children will often put the blame on themselves and try to figure out a way to make it better so mom and dad do not get a divorce. Or, they may go in a completely different direction and lash out in anger. It is very important to let them know your love for them has not changed and they had nothing to do with this decision. Unconditional love is the message here, and you must be able to get the message through to them loud and clear.
How Can You Support Your Children during Divorce?
Both parents are going to need to be there emotionally and intellectually for the children, and at times, you may have to do this together. Depending upon the age of the children, they may not be able to totally grasp the situation intellectually. You may have to explain what is going on numerous times before it actually settles in. You should also take the time to learn the trouble signs for children reacting negatively to the news.
What Happens Now?
When talking to the kids, lay out a plan for the future. Let them know when they will see the parent that is leaving the home, how it will affect holidays, their schooling, etc… This will help prepare the kids so they know what to expect as the actual divorce proceeds. It will not be easy, but being upfront and honest about everything will help.