Going through a divorce is a traumatic situation for everyone involved. For the children, the unknowns combined with the major changes that they’re experiencing may be very hard to handle. Parents must find suitable ways to communicate with their children about what’s going on.
The way that you communicate with your child depends largely on your child’s age and maturity level. Consider these points when you’re discussing your divorce with your kids:
Be open to questions
Your children likely have many questions they want to be answered. Try to be as open as what’s appropriate for the child. If you can’t or won’t answer a question, explain that to the child but don’t make them feel as though they were wrong for asking the question.
Relay your own emotions
Normalizing a range of emotions can help kids who are coping with their parents’ divorce. Try to have a rational discussion about how you feel. This can help the kids to see that their feelings are normal. You may have to help them learn the correct ways to deal with the emotions. Be sure that you validate their feelings so that they’re encouraged to come to you in the future if they want to ask you something or need you.
Parents should ensure that they have a parenting plan in place as quickly as possible. This helps to provide the stability that their child needs so they can thrive despite the divorce. It’s imperative that you set the plan based on what the kids need now because it’s possible to modify it in the future if your kids’ needs change.