When you decide to get a divorce or are approached by your spouse with divorce papers, your first thought may be that you want to protect your children. You may not know how to let them know that their family is going to be changing or that you and their other parent won’t be living together anymore.
Despite any reservations you may have, it is important to talk to your children about divorce in an age-appropriate way as soon as you can. Here are three tips for doing so.
Keep it simple
The first thing to do is to keep your explanation simple. Your children don’t need to know about the specific reasons for the divorce. Instead, explain what will happen. Explain if they’ll be living with both parents or just one of you, so they know what to expect.
Depending on your children’s ages, they may not yet be master conversationalists, but you should still encourage them to share their feelings. Young children may have trouble expressing themselves, or you may find that your children react in unexpected ways. Stay calm, and make sure you allow them to express what they want to say before you react.
Explain why this change is good
Divorces are often seen as negatives, but the reality is that this could be good for you and your children. Explain to them what kinds of positives there are, such as having two happy parents, fewer arguments and even two bedrooms.
These are three things you can do when you’re talking to your children about divorce. Keep it simple, converse and stay positive.