How To Take The Headache Out Of Telling Your Children That You’re Divorcing.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
On Friday 8th January I am launching a new series of free Divorce videos called Divorce Step by Step.
Divorce Step By Step has been set up specifically to help you address the range of issues and matters you have to face when going through a divorce. I have been through the process myself so I know 1st hand how you are feeling and what you are going to go through.
I have come out the other side, stronger and fitter in every sense of the word. It’s not easy but with the right help and guidance the Divorce Step By Step videos will help you to help yourself make it less of a minefield.
I think it’s really important that you remember that divorce is a process NOT an event.
No two divorce situations are identical, but I believe sharing your story will be extremely helpful to other people going through the same process. Simply email me your divorce story. All contributions will be edited to keep the identity of everyone anonymous and names will be replaced with initials and we won’t publish any anonymous contributions.
The website is not a place to vent your anger at your ex – it’s a place to get information, ideas & strategies and it’s my intention to empower you to make good decisions going forward.
Do have a look at my series of Divorce Conversational Cards that can be used to help you through the challenging & stressful time of divorce. They feature 48 questions to help you start the difficult conversations about the changes that your family is facing when they are going through a divorce.
Telling your children about your decision to divorce
Many parents feel anxious and worried about how to tell their children about their impending divorce as it is a major life change.
There are many factors that influence when you should tell your children about your decision to divorce. Sometimes, a child may ask you directly about what’s happening as they sense “all is not right “ and there is obvious tension in the air, so it is best to be honest.
Clearly, your child may have some knowledge about the situation but you don’t want to say something that you have to take back in a short time.
I always recommend choosing your time carefully. You must been in a “good place” yourself as if you are tearful, angry or overwhelmed your child will feel insecure and anxious and distressed. Never tell your children just before important events such as a birthday or a friend’s party they have been looking forward to, or a designated special day out. The best time is early in a weekend or school holiday where you are on hand to be around and on hand to answer their questions, reassure them and give them lots of hugs and cuddles if they need them. Give them time to absorb what’s happening.
Tell them in a private place where they can feel free to express their emotions and ask you questions. Restaurants don’t work well as they can inhibit your child’s normal reactions and avoid places that are special to them such as bedrooms or playrooms. Those are places where your children relax and feel safe and you don’t want to anchor something stressful in their memory happening there.
It’s very important that if one of your children knows, all of your children should be told. It’s too much of a burden for one child to keep this important secret alone. Also brothers and sisters who understand what you are going through is an enormous help and emotional support at a challenging time.