Children undergo great upheaval as a result of divorce. Despite having no choice or hand in the matter, they often find their lives completely overturned.
Simply learning of a divorce can be a distressing and shocking event for them. It is important to avoid certain actions when telling them about it to ease the breaking of the news as much as possible.
One pitfall to avoid is blaming or criticizing the other parent in front of the children. Negative comments about the spouse can create confusion and feelings of guilt in the child. Similarly, avoid blaming the children themselves, either directly or indirectly. Instead, focus on explaining the decision without placing blame, emphasizing that the divorce is between the parents and does not change the love and care they have for their children.
2. Sharing too much
How many of the details it is appropriate to relate depends on the age and maturity of the children. However, in general, not every gritty part of the divorce and the reasons behind it need to be on their shoulders. They have enough to deal with in their new lives without the burden of any darker details that may make them feel bad.
3. Emotional dumping
Just like too much information dumping may not help reassure the children, too much emotional dumping may only serve to confuse or agitate them. Sharing news of divorce is emotional for both parents, but it is important to maintain composure during the conversation with the children. Displaying excessive anger or sadness can be overwhelming for kids. Instead, parents need to express commitment to their children’s well-being and address their concerns in a calm and collected manner.
Children may react to the news of divorce in various ways, from anger to grief. It is important to allow them to express themselves and respond naturally. Avoiding assigning blame or burdening them with too much while giving them the opportunity to openly communicate and showing love and patience can help them process the news more easily.