One of the largest challenges with getting divorced for many parents involves breaking the news to their children. For any number of reasons, people decide they no longer work as a married couple. After making the difficult decision to dissolve their marriages, those with children must take the next step of explaining it to their kids and helping them cope with how their lives will change.
Preparing ahead of time helps some make the most of these difficult discussions with their children, putting themselves and their families in the best positions to heal and move forward.
Plan for the talk
According to Psychology Today, when getting divorced, many parents find it helpful to plan with their spouses what they will tell their children when breaking the news of their split. Doing so often aids with sending a message of reassurance and love and avoids acting impulsively or emotionally when having this talk. Families typically benefit from having such talks altogether and when they have some time to spend together to react to and deal with the news.
Prepare for the possible reactions
Some kids express sadness or anger upon hearing their parents plan to divorce. Others feel a sense of relief or have no reaction at all. Parents should prepare for their children to react in some way and accept those responses when they come. Although they must make sure to not let their emotions get too out of hand, showing upset or letting their kids see them cry may help parents reassure their children that they can and should feel their feelings about the situation.
Get help if needed
According to WebMD.com, some children develop behavioral issues during or after their parents’ divorce. Older children sometimes have aggressive or angry outbursts, while younger kids occasionally show regression – having bedwetting, clinginess or other such issues. If their children show signs of struggling with the divorce, parents may find it helpful to seek professional assistance.
Going through a divorce affects everyone involved, especially the kids. Taking steps to help ease the process may aid parents in supporting their children as they adjust to and cope with these types of major life changes.