Getting divorced or separated. Not sure how to tell your kids?
Here are the most common mistakes parents make when having
the “divorce talk” so you can spare your children from
unnecessary emotional trauma.
Getting psyched up to tell your children about your pending divorce
— or separation? Not sure what to say? When to say it? How to
say it? What to expect after the conversation? What to do next?
How do deal with your special circumstances? What therapists,
mediators, attorneys, clergy and other professionals suggest you do
and don’t do to make things better all around? Well, you’re not
Having the "divorce talk" with a child you love is one of the
toughest conversations you’ll ever have. Shouldn’t you be prepared?
Professionals all agree on some of the most common mistakes parents
make when bringing up divorce or separation. These include:
* asking children to bear the weight of making decisions or
* failing to remind children that none of this is in any way their
* forgetting to emphasize that Mom and Dad will still always be
their Mom and Dad — even after divorce!
* confiding adult details to children in order to attract their
allegiance or sympathy
* neglecting to repeatedly remind children that they are safe,
innocent and very much loved
* failing to explain clearly that everything is going to be okay!
These are just some of the most common messages that parents fail
to convey because they’re just not prepared — and most probably
If you’re about to tackle this tough conversation — or you know
someone who is – there’s help you can depend on to simplify the
process. Don’t wing it unprepared. You wouldn’t go on vacation
or plan a party without advanced preparation. Why tackle one of
the most important and emotionally charged talks you’ll ever have
with your children without giving it just as much – if not more –
thought and attention?
If you’re not sure what to say and how to say it in age-appropriate
language, there are many resources available to help you. Therapists
and mediators provide excellent personal guidance. Collaborative
divorce attorneys (those who specialize in creating non-adversarial
divorce solutions) can be of great assistance at this time. So can
clergy, school Guidance Counselors and parenting experts. There are
many articles and books written on the subject as well.
One digital guidebook that was just launched on the internet provides
a unique approach through the creation of a personalized family
storybook – prepared in advance – with photos and fill-in-the-blanks
templates. To learn more about How Do I Tell the Kids about the
Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook™ Guide to Preparing Your Children
– with Love!
However you approach this challenging conversation, be prepared.
Understand the effects – both emotionally and psychologically – this
news can have on your children, and learn how to avoid the common
mistakes parents can make when they haven’t done their homework
in advance. You and your children can survive — and even thrive after
divorce. Think before you leap and give your family a sound foundation
on which to face the changes ahead with security, compassion and love.