Things change, marriages break, and divorce happens. But, the difficult part of getting through a divorce is the process of knowing how to communicate divorce to your children.
You know, as much as you know that divorce is the best thing for you both, the fear of communicating the divorce to your children still plagues your heart. But why?
Why are parents scared of communicating divorce to their children?
The answer is not far-fetched, it is because they know that it won’t be easy for the child to cope with the fact that Dad and Mom won’t be together again. You know that it will affect the child psychologically as well as physically because it is going to be a whole new phase that they may never recover from. Parents also know that the child can’t fully comprehend the reason for the divorce and if it is not properly communicated, then it may change their orientation about marriage for life.
6 Effective ways to communicate divorce to your child?
As a parent, you have to be careful of both extremes that exist in communicating divorce to your child. Extreme A: not telling your child the reason for the divorce. Extreme B: Trying to get the child to see from your side. Please you don’t have to overload the child with all the gory details at once, you can do it in bits according to the maturity of your children. The following ways will help you effectively communicate divorce to your child?
A. LOOK FOR THE RIGHT TIME
It is not healthy to communicate divorce to your child during the examination period or when the child is sick. Keep the divorce story to yourself, until you know that they will be under your watch regularly. You can communicate it to them, during holidays or on a vacation.
B. COMMUNICATE DIVORCE TOGETHER
To avoid confusion, you and your spouse should communicate divorce to your child together as a team. This will help them stick to a single and sincere version of the story. It will also help them easily come to a place of understanding. According to Paul Coleman, psychologist, and author of How to Say It to Your Kids, there’s a more important reason, too: It helps preserve your child’s sense of trust in both parents.
C. COMMUNICATE THE ESSENTIALS
Your child sincerely doesn’t need all the details, but if you want to carry them along, then you should tell your children details within the range of their understanding. Study the age of the children and know how intellectually and emotionally matured they are to take the details she divulged.
D. TELL THE TRUTH
As you communicate divorce to your child, ensure that you honestly divulge the necessary details. Avoid lies because it tends to confuse your child. Telling the truth will help them trust you and your partner. It would hurt your children if they find out that what you told them was not entirely the truth.
E. BUILD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILD
Children might naturally withdraw from you after hearing about your divorce. When they withdraw, spend time with them, ask them questions, and get involved in their life. Endeavor to stay open and free with your child, it will help them adjust to their new way of life quickly.
F. DON’T TURN YOUR CHILD TO A CONFIDANT
Communicating divorce to your child is different from telling your child about all the wrongs you and your spouse committed. If you are looking for someone to share those details with, look for a friend or relative that can be trusted. Don’t make your children bear the burden of your actions, you may never know the damage it can cause.
It is crucial to note that learning how to communicate divorce to your child is closely linked to your recovery process. So please, talk about it!!