When we say our vows we believe they’re forever. Sometimes life proves us wrong, though. Divorce is a natural part of a relationship between two people who can’t or don’t want to be together anymore, for whatever reason. Both of you deserve happiness, and there’s no need to feel guilty about getting a divorce. The tricky part if explaining it all to your children. After all, they deserve to be happy too. This is one of the most difficult conversations you can have with your child, but if done the right way, it doesn’t have to be scary.
1. Do it in your home environment
The best place to tell your children you’re getting a divorce is in your home environment. This is because these are familiar surroundings for the children. They will feel safe and will be able to freely express how they feel. This psychological factor can also influence how well they receive the information.
The kids will be much calmer and able to understand what you’re telling them if it’s surrounded by things it knows. After all, this is something entirely new and alien to them. That’s why it’s best to do it in a familiar environment- they can only process one alien thing at a time.
2. Tell them together
Since divorce is a decision you made together, you should tell the children together as well. It’s important for the child to feel like they have to pick sides. If you tell them by yourself, they’ll get the feeling it was your partner’s fault you’re getting a divorce, and vice versa.
What’s more, telling the child together makes things less scary. You send the message that you guys are still a family and that you can still work together. Change is a scary thing for someone so young, so telling the truth together can really soften the blow.
3. Let them express their emotions
Of course, your child will have a certain reaction to the news. Most parents tell their children not to cry and be sad, but that’s actually counterproductive. It’s healthy for them to get their emotions out in the open. This news is probably hard to swallow, so expressing sadness or anger will help them process it.
Don’t argue with your child, no matter how it reacts to the news. Instead, tell them you understand how they feel and that you’re aware the situation isn’t ideal but that that’s life. What’s more, make sure they realize you’ll be there for them to help them understand better and hurt less.
4. Tell them about future plans
Naturally, children will want to know what happens next. Where are they going to go? Who are they going to live with? What are the overall arrangements? Before you start talking about this with your children, it’s good to come up with a plan.
You should consult experts such as Doolan Wagner family lawyers due to their experience in these situations. Someone who’s already done this will help you figure out what’s the best course of action for your family. Once that is done, inform your children of every detail.
5. Involve them in the move
Don’t forget to involve your children in the move as much as possible. This is their life, too. Since everything is out of their control, involving them can make them feel like they still have some say in their life. It will also help them feel less lost.
You can let them pack their things, decide how to redecorate their room, and involve them with some other basic household decisions. This will also make them feel like they’re still part of a family.
As you can see, there are some proven methods of how to tell your child about divorce that will make them understand the whole situation. The most important thing to remember is that your children won’t be happy unless you are. It’s better to get a divorce than to stay in an unhappy marriage because that affects kids more. They can’t be cheery when they see their parents aren’t. Approach this topic with great care and give your child the attention it needs during this difficult time. That’s how you guarantee they stay happy and healthy.