Getting divorced can be excruciating. One of the most heart-wrenching aspects can be the moment when you have to break the news of your impending split to your young kids. They may already sense that something is badly amiss at home, especially if the two of you have had frequent loud arguments and the raw tension in the air is nearly intolerable.
If you and your spouse can ease the kids through this looming transition in their lives, it may make implementing child custody arrangements, including co-parenting, less stressful all around. That said, it still won’t be an easy thing to accomplish. Even when phrased in gentle, child-friendly language, it’s very tough to tell kids that their parents will not be together anymore.
Some ideas from experts
You can make this ordeal a little easier for you as well as your children:
- Show lots of affection, particularly to very young kids.
- Explain their new living arrangements in understandable terms without loading them down with details. Straightforward talk is best.
- Kids look for reassurance that both of their parents will always love them and be emotionally available. Let them know that is the case, even though all of you do not live under one roof anymore.
- Your children may have fanciful dreams of the two of you reuniting. Be firm in denying that is going to take place, but that they will always have two parents who cherish them dearly.
After you tell them, it’s important to be on the lookout for obvious signs of your kids’ distress, like mood swings, regression or uncharacteristic hostility.
Adults also require plenty of support during this transitional period just like their children do. Engage with professionals who are capable as well as caring and compassionate.