At some point in every divorcing parent’s process of separation, the divorce talk becomes inevitable. You have to tell your children what is going to happen — that mom and dad won’t be living in the same house anymore. Fortunately, many children are versatile enough to handle this kind of unsettling and disappointing news. In fact, family psychologists say that within two years, children typically have completely healed and overcome any initial setbacks that the reality of divorce creates for them.
That said, you may be struggling with regard to how you will bring this news to your children. Here are two strategies that you can use when talking about divorce with your kids:
1. Emphasize repeatedly that both parents will always love them
Children need to know that you love them, and they may feel frightened and insecure about whether you will continue loving them after the divorce. After all, if mom and dad could lose their love for one another, does that mean that moms and dads lose the love they have for their children as well?
In order to help your children feel more secure, repeatedly let them know that you and the other parent’s love for them is different from the love that exists between a husband and wife. Ensure your kids that you will always love them no matter what they do, and no matter what happens in life.
2. Tell your children about divorce together
By telling your children about the divorce with your spouse by your side, it helps present a united front. This will support your kids to feel secure that this was a mutual decision and that neither parent is angry or hurt about it. While you may be feeling angry and hurt on the inside, you might want to support your children’s sense of personal security by keeping these feelings to yourself. Remember, you want your children to know that they’re safe, loved and will always be cared for.
Support your children by divorcing in a peaceful way
When you can separate from your spouse consciously and respectfully, your children can benefit. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies available — like out-of-court divorce negotiation and mediation proceedings — which could provide ways to quickly, cost-effectively and peacefully uncouple from a spouse.