Breaking the news to your child about separation or divorce is a very stressful and emotional experience for them. They might feel that their world has crumbled and it will never be normal anymore. No matter what age, it can be traumatic to witness your parents’ marriage fall apart and your whole family breaking up. Kids will go under different emotions, anger, denial, fear, and uncertainty- and for a few, even guilt and blaming themselves for problems at home. Talking about divorce to them will never be an easy process, and it will be a long battle of grief and hardship. But with you helping them cope up and putting them as first priority, you can guarantee that they will be at peace with the idea of separation. Take a look at these few things to remember on how to handle legal separation together with your kid.
Assist Them in the Grieving Process
Start by listening to how they feel, let them share their feelings and their views about the separation. The folks at MKFM Law suggest that you should explain to them the divorce process as children might not understand what is happening so it is for their best that they know what is going on. This might be heavy and there is going to be plenty of sadness, frustration, and anger. Even with this, you should let them express it properly and don’t banter or try to be feeling attacked. Children might have difficulty expressing their feelings so you should let them and encourage them to speak. Tell them to be honest, even if it gets ugly, they shouldn’t be reluctant because it will just end up in pent up sadness or anger.
Let the Kids Know They’re Not at Fault
Since kids don’t have a firm grasp of this kind of issue, they might think that the divorce is because of them. Especially when kids hear parents argue all the time, even on the most mundane reasons, they might blame themselves for it. You should help your kids understand that this is not true and explain the reason why you have to separate. It might be hard, but sometimes telling them the real reason might be the best. Be patient and explain and reassure them that they don’t have anything to do with it. They might seem confused and uncertain, but as the older one, you should have endless patience. Lastly, they should know that even if the parents separate, you will still love them and won’t be tired of them and separate from them.
Give Attention and Love
Children will cope more with the changes in their life if they receive more attention and love that they need. Talking to them, spending time with them, and being consistent will be the most important step to prove to them that your love for them will not change. Let your kids know that both of the parents will still be there while they grow up, and even though there will be changes you will still continue to have a healthy and loving relationship. Make them feel that everything is alright, and even if it won’t be easy it will still work out. If they see that everything will be fine, they will be reassured and be at peace with the situation.
Your assistance, reassurance, and love can help them cope with this hard and unfamiliar situation. By making sure they are well-loved and taken care of they will not feel neglected with this change. Most importantly, let them know that you have a working relationship as separated parents, it will be a huge comfort for them knowing that they will still have the same bond and relationship as before.