Dealing with divorce is one of the hardest things for any couple, and children of divorcees often deal with numerous difficulties as well. Of course, as parents, you want to protect your child from these painful and stressful things.
However, you will need to alert them to the reality of the situation sooner or later, and experts generally believe you should aim for it sooner. So how do you break the news once you have committed to doing so?
Break the news as soon as you can
Psychology Today offers tips for breaking the difficult news of divorce to your children. First, they suggest telling your child as quickly as possible, as mentioned above. This gives them more time to process the information, prepare for the changes ahead, and get answers to their questions. The more information they have, the less scary the uncertain future after divorce will seem and the less they have to feel upset and frightened of.
Reassure your child
Next, always reassure your child that the divorce is not their fault. Though this will seem obvious to you, children will often feel guilt and self-blame for a split between parents, wondering if they did something to cause the split. Reassure them of the fact that no matter what happens, you and your co-parent will always love them no matter what. This can help provide a much-needed foundation and security.
It is important to keep in mind the fact that divorce advice is never “one size fits all”. It is important to take the pieces you think will work for your unique situation and utilize them while also tailoring advice to your circumstances. This customization can help further minimize the potential emotional pain your child may otherwise face.