Couples divorce for many reasons. According to the U.S. Census Bureau survey, incompatibility (43%), infidelity (28%), and money issues (22%) are the top three causes of divorce in the country. If a couple decides to divorce and children are involved, it is essential to inform them about it. But how do you explain divorce to your children? Read on to find out.
1. Break the News as a Team
Regardless of your differences, it is essential to break the news about your divorce to your children as a team. Sit down and agree on what to tell your children. Figure out how you will answer their questions.
Don’t criticize or blame your co-parent in front of the children, and don’t openly demonstrate your disagreements.
Also, breaking the news as a team prevents the conveyance of one-sided explanations. That’s because working as a team ensures honesty. Acting as a unified front displays that both parents are still available for the children.
2. Select a Good Time
Selecting the perfect time is necessary for breaking news about divorce to children. Keep the divorce to yourself until you are sure about the date. Break the news to your children at least one week before the divorce date.
Sit down with your children and inform them that you have a serious family matter to discuss. It would be best to avoid breaking the news about your divorce during birthdays, holidays, or any other days that are dear to your family.
Avoid getting intoxicated before breaking the news. In Connecticut, a person can get up to six months in jail for a first DUI conviction.
3. Use Age-Appropriate Explanations
The emotional and intellectual understanding of children about divorce varies depending on age. Younger children, particularly pre-school children, cannot understand what divorce means even if they know the word.
Older children and teens understand the concept of divorce and comprehend what it means. Using tough explanations can confuse your children.
Be sure to use explanations that your child can easily understand when breaking news about your divorce. Keep things simple and use a few sentences to explain the issue.
4. Tell the Truth
It is crucial to disclose truthful information about divorce to your children. Tell them, even if the reason is financial issues or drug abuse. Drug testing is one of the few ways families, friends, or employers determine if an addict is clean and is the only thing that makes families willing to continue offering financial support.
No matter how ugly the reason is, tell your children the truth. The bad thing about lying is that the truth will be revealed sooner or later, and your children might not take it lightly.
5. Provide Assurance
The separation of parents can be a difficult thing for children to fathom. It can make them feel that they are not loved and that their lives will never be the same again.
While some things will change, explain to your children that certain things will always remain the same. Assure your children and inform them that you will continue loving and taking care of them.
6. Tell the Children that It’s Not Their Fault
Children may think that they are at fault and often blame themselves for their parent’s separation. Inform your children that they are not to blame for your separation. Tell them that the divorce is your decision and has nothing to do with them.
Divorce isn’t an easy thing, particularly for children. Therefore, parents should explain their divorce so that it won’t negatively affect their children. These aforementioned tips can help break the news about divorce and explain to your children what it means for you and them.