Going through a divorce can feel overwhelming at times. Talking to your children about it can bring up some of these hard emotions as well.
Following a few tips when discussing your divorce can allow you to handle this topic with sensitivity.
Be direct and honest
According to Psychology Today, trying to keep the divorce a secret from one or more of your children can ultimately lead to more stress and frustration. When you only tell the older children because you assume they can handle it better, you risk having the younger ones feel confused about what is going on.
Instead, find a quiet time to sit down and talk plainly about what will happen. Do not try to use metaphors or vague ideas, but be direct about how this will affect your children’s lives.
Let them express emotions
Many children will react in a variety of ways, including getting angry or feeling extremely upset. Rushing to try to end the conversation will only leave them with more worry and anxiety over this life change.
Taking the time to hear what they say and letting them express messy or negative emotions is important. They may also ask about where they will stay in the future or what their daily lives will be like with two divorced parents.
Reassuring your children that you love them and describing what life will look like in the near future can help soothe some worries. While you should reassure them, make sure to not make promises about schools or activities you may not be able to keep in the future.
Spending extra time with your children after talking about divorce can also help them feel closer to you and more relaxed.