While you might have gotten married and started your family with the best of intentions, many couples find that, after some time, they just can’t seem to make it work anymore. And while getting a divorce is hard in general, things can be even more difficult and complicated when there are children involved.
In situations such as this, parents will often try a trial separation first. However, this can be hard for your kids to understand. So to help them be ready for whatever your separation leads to, be it a reunification of their family or a divorce and other settlements, here are three ways to prepare your kids for their parents’ separation.
Don’t Make Any Changes Until You Speak With Your Kids
When your marriage isn’t working, you might be tempted to change the situation as quickly as you can. But when you’re a parent, you need to be very considerate of your kids in this situation. Making changes too quickly could have a very negative impact on them.
Because of this, Gina Kemp, Melinda Smith, and Dr. Jeanne Segal, contributors to HelpGuide.org, advise that you don’t change any of your living arrangements for your separation until you speak with your kids first. Don’t start packing or have anyone move out until you can explain the situation to your kids in a calm and reassuring fashion.
Keep The Details Simple
Once you’re ready to speak with your kids about your imminent separation, it’s important that you broach the subject with care and caution. Depending on the ages of your children, they might not understand what’s going on very well or might ask for additional details. Both of these situations can be hard to navigate.
According to FamilyRelationships.gov.au, your kids usually don’t need to be told the details of why this separation is taking place. Ideally, you should keep the details simple and not place the blame for this situation on either parent. Just share that you won’t be living together right now and explain how this adjustment will affect them.
Try To Keep Your Emotions In Check
As you prepare you talk with your kids about your upcoming separation from their other parent, it’s good to be prepared for a very emotional time, both for yourself, your partner, and your children. However, Dr. D’Arcy Lyness, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, advises that you try your best to keep your emotions in check when speaking with your kids.
This time should be about expressing your love and reassurance to your children. They’re likely going to be scared and confused, and your emotions can just heighten these emotions within them. So while you might feel like breaking down, try to be brave and strong for your little ones at this tough moment.
If you and your partner will be separating soon, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in breaking this news to your kids.