When a married couple cannot withstand the overwhelming challenges they face in their relationship and other areas of their life like family and career, they end up getting divorced. More than anyone else, their children are the most affected.
Note that school-aged kids have a basic understanding of divorce and how a breakdown of their parents’ marriage would impact their future. As such, be prepared if your child becomes aggressive or clingy during this tough time. Therapeutic communication plays a crucial part in helping your child cope with your divorce hence these tips are suggested:
Choose the appropriate moment
Don’t just break the news at your most convenient time. Consider the right timing especially for your child. When you and your spouse are sure of your decision to divorce, choose the appropriate moment when you’ll have enough time to talk with your child like on weekends when you can offer each other a comforting hug and reassurances that you will still be a family despite the separation.
Break the news together
According to Paul Coleman, author of How to Say It to Your Kids, parents should tell their child their plan of getting a divorce together to avoid confusion and to uphold their child’s trust on both of them. More so, breaking the news together will help the child understand that it was a mutual decision.
Keep it short and simple
Divorce is a heartbreaking process especially for a child that’s why it’s encouraged to keep your explanation simple. You can start telling your school-age child about the divorce with “After a thorough thinking, your Dad and I decided,” then explain your set-up following the separation. Reassure your child that he will still spend time with both parents and you will still have bonding moments as a family.
Assure your child that it’s not his fault
Some children may conclude that they are the reason as to why their parents divorced. Spare your grade-schooler with guilt and fear by telling them that the decision was mutual between you and your spouse and they have nothing to do about it.