It’s either something that we don’t like to think about or something that we are experiencing and need all the information we can get with. Separation and divorce is not a nice process for anybody involved, but especially not the children. Even up to teenager years and beyond, a family splitting up can have a huge impact on your child’s emotional well-being. This isn’t to bring up guilty feelings – the majority of couples splitting up part ways for the better, although it may not feel like it at the time.
Transitioning over can be challenging and take time, and there are certain things to be taken into consideration to get everybody on board.
Explain in Layman’s Terms
Kids don’t want to hear detailed explanations about why their parents are no longer together unless they’re of the age where they can fully comprehend the meaning of the words you are using. Explain as simply but as effectively as you can; stress that this will work out better (even if you don’t feel it will – reassurance is what they are looking for).
Keep the Love
A child can often feel at fault when their parents are breaking up as they are the only real mutual connection that you have. Keep things polite and as civilized as you can when you are around them. Assure them that you love them as much if not more than you have ever done – that both of you do, and that what you are doing is not a symbol of how much they care about you. You may find that they use this situation as a pivotal point in assessing how much either parent shows their affection, but this is a time where you need to gather your thoughts and feelings too … try to keep it as relaxed and normal as possible.
Don’t Use Them
Whatever you do, do not use your children as a go-between. Do not use them to pass on your messages and do not use them to give you information about the person you are separating from. If you cannot be civil, look for a good divorce solicitors to relay messages between you and arrange your affairs for you. The more that you use your child as your communication tool, the less they will want to communicate with you.
If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. When you pass judgement on the other parent and their actions in front of your child, it can hurt their feelings. You are talking about somebody that they love very much and are in the majority of cases an integral part of their lives. You cannot expect them to take your side – do not bring ‘sides’ into the scenario – by being indirectly hurtful about a member of their family.
Let Honesty Prevail
Your kids should be able to speak the truth and tell you what’s on their mind as much as they can. Bad feelings can then be worked to achieve a better situation.