No matter how old they are when you and your significant other decide to part ways, your children will still be greatly affected by the divorce. It will be up to you and your partner to see to it that they handle the news well. Don’t bombard them with the news when they least expect it, but explain to them why both of you have taken this decision.
Even though your children may already know that something’s up, most probably, they are too afraid to admit. For this one time, you and your partner will have to band together and break the news gently to them, and here’s how you should do it:
1. Do It Together
When you break the news to your children, you should do it together. Parents that do it alone because they can’t stand their ex, confuse their child even more, as they will be hearing two different versions from two different perspectives. Therefore, both of you need to sit together to decide on a story to tell your child. Try to agree on a story to tell them that doesn’t end with your father or mother is bad.
2. Do Not Blame Your Partner
Your partner and you may not see eye to eye anymore, but the doesn’t give you grounds to mock your ex in front of your child. Your child doesn’t need any more drama in their life, as this is a sensitive time for them. If your children are young, they will be more impressionable, which means they may blame themselves for your divorce. This is something that you need to avoid doing at all costs and anytime, you well up with anger, think of your children to help you cool down and regain your exposure.
3. Use Simple Language
Young children don’t want you to provide them with a complex reason such as “Your father cheated on me.” You want to explain to them about what is exactly going to happen after the two of you get divorced. You start by telling them that one of you is going to get an apartment, which they will come and visit. However, this conversation needs to happen after both of you have decided on the days and times each will get to spend time with your child.
4. Do Not Delve Into the Details
You will have to stay organized during this time, as you don’t want your child to come across anything that they shouldn’t be seeing. Moreover, you will have to take certain precautions when discussing your divorce proceedings. You don’t want your child to witness both of you discussing matters that rile each other up. So, choose a time, place, and day to talk about this, away from home.
Children are the glue that keeps a family together and you want to keep that glue intact by being careful in how you both address each other in their presence.
Gerald A. Maggio is a trained Orange County divorce mediator who has amicably resolved cases many cases out of court, as well as an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Maggio founded California Divorce Mediators in 2012 with the belief that although “not every marriage can be saved, every family can” and a mission to save families from the financial and emotional distress associated with traditional divorce litigation. California Divorce Mediators is located in Irvine, California, and serves the Orange County area and other counties in California offering divorce mediation, child custody mediation and mediation of other family law matters.