One of the struggles parents face when going through a divorce is wondering how to tell the kids. Although each child will take the news differently, there are certain guidelines parents should follow in order to ease emotional stress.
The conversation will also be different depending on the age of the child, so parents need to take this into consideration.
According to PsychCentral, parents should share the news as a united front. They should make parenting and love top priorities and treat each other with respect, leaving out criticism and blame. It helps to practice the conversation before telling the kids so emotions do not get in the way. After the initial conversation, give the child time to work through emotions and be open to answer additional questions as they crop up.
Specifics for different age groups
Today’s Parent discusses that the specific conversation will vary based on the age of the child. For children under the age of six, the priorities should be to provide normal routines and to nurture the child. Provide information in a simple and basic way, and prepare to have numerous short discussions.
Routines should continue for children between the ages of six and 12. Discuss a child’s feelings in an indirect way and stress that the divorce is not the fault of the child.
Teenagers may push parents away after receiving news about divorce. However, it is important the parents maintain open communication and stay connected with the child. Although moodiness is common at this age, anger and bad tempers are even more common with the discussion of divorce.