Best Things You Can Do or Say to Your Child About Divorce or SeparationDivorce is stressful on a family. Children often have trouble understanding why their parents are getting divorced. Below are some of the best things you can do or say to your child about divorce or separation.
7 Tips to Help Make the Adjustment of Divorce
or Separation Easier for your Child
1. Reassure them that it is not their fault. Children tend to blame themselves when their parents divorce or separate. Let them know that nothing they did or said caused you and your spouse to separate.
2. Assure them that you both still love them and will continue to be in their life. Give them details on how you plan to do this. Make sure that they have a phone number so that they can contact the parent who is leaving the home when they want.
3. Give them the opportunity to ask any questions that they have about the divorce or separation, and how it will change things. Answer the questions as honestly as you can without giving them details that they don't need. Kids don't need to hear that a parent had an affair or is an alcoholic, etc.
4. Never fight where your children could possibly overhear. Don't assume just because you are in another room or on the telephone, that your child can't hear you. If things need to be discussed and you know there is a chance that it could get heated, plan to meet somewhere away from the children.
5. Don't use your child as a messenger after a divorce or separation. Communicate directly with your spouse and avoid asking your child to tell them things on your behalf.
6. Assure them that just because their parents can't get along, this does not mean that they have to choose sides. It is okay for them to still love you both.
7. Be there to listen when they need to talk. Let them know it is okay to be angry, sad, confused, or frustrated. Assure them that they can be honest, even if they are upset with you or your spouse. You can listen to their feelings and let them know you understand, without talking bad about the other parent.
Children need security, stability and they need to feel loved. Keep the lines of communication open and continuously reassure them that things will be all right in time. These tips can help them adjust to the changes
caused by a divorce or separation.