Divorce is generally a traumatic experience for both parents and kids. For parents, it’s heartbreaking to have to separate from someone you were once in love with. For kids, it’s traumatic to find out that their parents whom they love very much will no longer be together.
It takes patience and time in order to completely deal with a divorce. But with the right approach, families can still maintain the bond they have with each other even after divorce.
As a parent, there are many essential things you need to prepare for as you break the news to your kids. Below are some of the key steps that you can take to prepare your kids for the sad news.
1. Communicate positively
It is important that you maintain a positive attitude as you talk to your kids about the divorce. Positive communication involves reassuring them that everything will be okay as well as avoiding painting your ex-spouse in a bad light. Remember that he or she is still valued by your children. Let them know that they are not the reason for the separation. This will help them cope with it better.
2. Have arguments away for your kids
When a marriage isn’t working out anymore, it is common for parents to get frustrated with each other and turn disagreements into fights. Psychologically, it’s not healthy for your kids to witness these scenarios. With time, the constant fighting will end up affecting them even in adulthood. Ensure that you and your ex-spouse maintain peace and treat each other cordially especially in front of your children.
3. Prepare for questions
As you go through the divorce, you need to prepare for detailed questions from your kids. Expect to be asked questions such as, ‘Where will we live?’ ‘Do we have to move?’ and ‘Why are you getting the divorce?’ Such questions can be really tough to answer especially when you haven’t fully figured everything out. Find ways to answer some of these questions in a way that they can understand. This will help them feel a bit more confident that everything will be okay in the end.
4. Get help
In some cases, talking to them as parents may not be enough. Kids react diffidently to the news that their family might never be the same again. These emotions can manifest in the form of anger, depression or even withdrawal. At this point, it’s recommended that you reach out to a therapist who will help you in the process. It is better to get a therapist or counsellor beforehand.
5. Listen to them
Listening to how your kids feel is an essential part of therapy. You should take time to find out how they are feeling which will help them feel considered and heard. Give them space to communicate honestly with you which will definitely boost their recovery. Don’t underestimate the power of simply listening.
6. Minimize changes to the daily routine
As the divorce happens, among the many changes you will go through is having to move out of the house you shared with your spouse. In order to help your kids cope with the changes, ensure that routines such as school schedules are maintained. This will help them draw their attention away from what is happening and concentrate on other important aspects of their lives.
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