Despite the fact that often a divorced family is a happier family, children still have a painful adaptation period. Changes will occur in a child’s life that may frighten him and disrupt his usual way of life.
Talking with your child about the upcoming divorce, you help him to understand, accept and survive these changes, reducing its negative consequences.
1. Prepare for the conversation. Try to calm down and pull yourself together before talking. Your anxiety or anger can be transmitted to the child, and he will feel guilty about what happened, so talk to him as calmly as possible. Your suffering and crying can instill in the child the horror and the feeling of hopelessness with which he can not cope on his own.
2. During a conversation reduce the number of distractions - turn off the TV and music. Make sure that the conversation takes place in a relaxed situation, face to face (without witnesses).
3. Do not delay this conversation in the hope that later it will be easier for you to talk to the child. Feeling the confusion and experiences of adults, children, regardless of age, very quickly realize that something has changed in their lives, despite all the attempts by adults to keep it secret. Do not force him to experience it alone, because children tend to take the blame for what happened on themselves. Tell your child about the divorce as soon as you have decided on the decision. He will need time to accept this news and prepare for changes in his life. Both parents should be involved in this conversation.
4. Build a conversation based on your child’s age. Small children can only understand that one parent will no longer live with them and that he will be able to visit him in a new home. Older children and teenagers can talk about the reasons for the divorce, but don't forget to tell them that this is your mutual decision and divorce will help the whole family become happier.
5. Emphasize that a divorce is not a child's mistakeand although parents may stop loving each other, they never don't stop loving your children.
6. It is important be open and honest with the child in this situation. Answer the child's questions truthfully, but do not frighten him with unnecessary details or confuse the wording "but if ...". It’s enough for a child to know information that will help him to understand how his and his life will change and what to expect in the future.
7. Do not be afraid of his reaction. Different children react differently to parents' divorce: some shout and get angry with them, others, on the contrary, feel relieved that conflicts and tensions will end. Explain to the child that feeling pain, anger and fear is normal. Help him express these emotions if he does not work. Let the child know that screaming and crying is normal if it hurts. Telling him how to express difficult feelings in non-destructive ways, you help him cope with a difficult situation.
8. Give your child as much time and attention after the conversation as he needs.. It is possible that he will ask to discuss it again or just want to be near you. It happens that some children after what happened can be scary to be alone or they will ask you to sit with them while falling asleep. Fulfill their requests and give them attention, and it will be much easier for them to survive this situation.