Going through a divorce is not only difficult on you and your spouse. It also affects your kids emotionally, mentally and on many other levels. As a parent, you want to reduce the impact and stress, but how can you?
One of the best things you can do is start on a strong foot by alerting your child to the reason behind the split. The way you tackle this first hurdle can dictate a lot about what follows.
Do not wait
As Psychology Today points out, there is no one way to break news of divorce. In general, experts will have many different points when they discuss what will serve a child best and what may do them greater harm. However, they generally agree on one point: it is better to tell them sooner, rather than waiting.
Many parents will wait as long as possible out of a misplaced sense that this will serve their child best. They want to give their child the longest amount of time enjoying their “normal” life. However, in reality, this robs the child of precious time which they could have used to prepare for their new life and come to terms with the changes ahead.
Why having time helps
Having advanced time to prepare also allows children to decide how they want to cope with the changes. If they have more time to settle, they will likely gravitate toward safer and more productive coping mechanisms.
Of course, it is also important to reassure your child throughout this process that they are not at fault, either. Helping them actively build good coping mechanisms is a nice start as well.