How to make your divorce easier on the children
So you have decided to end your marriage?
Surely you have good enough reasons for
this important decision, but explaining that to your children might be one of the hardest things you will ever do. If you have ever heard of “The Butterfly Effect” (not the film), this would be the prime example of it. This situation and how you handle it will affect your children’s lives way beyond childhood. It is the early experiences that mould their character and shape their perception of the world around them.
Breaking the news
No matter how many articles you have read beforehand there is no easy way to do this. Prepare yourself for the worst and go in with a smile and tonnes of patience. There is lots of information and advice on the ways of looking after children through the divorce process, however, in an ideal scenario, you would team up with your spouse and brainstorm how you would do it together. Every child is different and only you know how yours might react. You should also take into consideration your child’s age and factor that into your explanation and the way you go about it. Imagine how hard it is for you. Well, for your child it is a problem of a catastrophic scale. They will typically start wondering if it is their fault and whether the parents do not love them anymore. Make sure that you make it as clear as possible that it is NOT the child’s fault. For a younger offspring, a fairytale approach might be suitable. At the end of the day, not every love story ends in a happy-ever-after and that’s okay.
Handling the reaction
It is entirely up to you how you justify the divorce to your children but consoling them and telling them about how much you love them is crucial. You might have to face a myriad of questions from your panicking offspring. Prepare yourself for some of the more obvious ones and first let the child get it off their chest. Encourage them to talk honestly about their feelings and be sympathetic. Help your children see positives. There are going to be two lots of every holiday, more quality time with parents and other post-divorce perks.
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