Divorce Advice from the Experts: How to Tell the Children
How to tell your children that mom and dad are getting a divorce can be a real dilemma. We’ve put together some tips, offered from some of the top authorities on child-rearing, to help make it a little easier when telling your children:
- Research in Utah, headed up by Heather Westburg, interviewed children from divorce. The suggestions of the study highlight planning on how and when to inform your children about your and your spouse’s plans to divorce. Make it an uninterrupted time and choose the setting and circumstance carefully.
- Dr. Phil advises to be clear in your words, making sure children know that it is your decision and that they aren’t to blame. If not spoken directly, children will assume they are the cause of the friction.
- Dr. Phil also says neither fight nor be critical of your ex. Communicate constructively with your child’s other parent. Be careful not to allow your children to be in the middle of your conflict with the ex.
- Armin Brott, author of the nationally syndicated column, “Ask Mr. Dad”, prescribes reassuring your children that routines will stay same—same school, friends, etc. That they will spend time with both of their parents. Be sure to tell them that they are loved.
- Brott also says that it isn’t over with the initial discussion. It will take your children time to think about things. Be prepared to answer the same questions again and again.
- Psychology Today advises that children will need you to accept their feelings, even if they’re confusing to you. Let them feel and express. Ask babysitters, friends and teachers to let you know if they see behavior from your child that needs your attention.
Using some of these experts’ tried-and-true tips will help to soften the news. When you and your spouse end your relationship, it also ends the children’s world as they know it. It is the beginning of something scary and new, but remind them that you’ll be there through everything and their needs are your utmost priority.
Written by: Ruby Mosely, Rust Built, Marketing Services