Talking to your children about your upcoming divorce can potentially seem intimidating, but it does not have to be a negative experience.
Staying respectful and open while discussing the topic can help reassure your children there is nothing to feel scared about.
Stay factual and respectful
According to Psychology Today, many parents may hesitate when it comes to divulging details about the divorce itself. Although some children may be able to handle more than others, you should never talk about every personal concern you had while going through the process. Aim for shorter, child-friendly explanations for why you both are divorcing.
Directly answer questions
Children may have questions about if they are going to change schools or neighborhoods, or even questions about where their pets will stay. Do not ignore these inquiries, but make sure to encourage them to speak more in detail about what they are feeling.
Creating a safe environment for worries and concerns can help your children feel more comfortable expressing their real feelings. Even though they may react negatively at first, stay calm and make sure to listen patiently.
Your children may express concerns that they did something to cause your divorce. By reassuring them you love them and that they did not influence this decision, you can help soothe any lingering fears as they adjust to these changes.
Scheduling quality time, such as playing a game or reading together, and showing your love in your actions as well as your words can make a difference in your child’s mental health. A divorce may be a big lifestyle change, but you can still help your children feel resilient in this circumstance.