Nothing lasts forever. When it comes to marriage, it may be
the case that couples are lucky enough to find in each other a life companion.
But, realistically speaking, that is not the case for many people. Divorce is
neither a good nor a bad thing; it is merely the conclusion of a marriage that
did not work out well for the parties involved. However, the effects that
divorce has on the couple getting it are quite different from the ones it has
on children. The way in which parents handle this type of situation determines
the type of impact it will have on their children. As part of our family therapy Eastchester’s services,
the Counseling Center has prepared a useful guideline for parents to
effectively communicate their divorce decision to their children.
– Tell all your children at once. It is
common for some parents to tell the older children first because they are more
mature. Experts state that this is not a good idea. First, age is not
necessarily an indicator of maturity. Moreover, telling one of your children
first may represent a burden for him or her. On the other hand, the other
siblings who are not told may feel left out, which can lead to a variety of
complications in their personality development as well as on the relationship
with their brothers and sisters. To avoid this, gather all your children at
once and communicate the decision with all of them present.
– Children have an infallible memory.
When it comes to significant events in their lives, children remember
everything about them when they happened. Therefore, the circumstances and the
ambiance in general are crucial when telling your children you’re getting
divorced. It is likely that they will remember in detail this moment for a long
– Be honest and be clear. Children are
highly perceptive. Avoid using euphemisms or minimizing the reality of the situation
when telling your children about the divorce. They will easily catch if you are
not being completely truthful; after all, they’ve lived with you their entire
lives. Not doing so, may generate they start distrusting you.
– Don’t anticipate their reactions. Every
child is different and, when faced with such a life changing situation, he or
she might react as you least expect. Do not assume your child will react in
certain way. Let the situation flow and accept your child’s reaction as it is.
Trying to have control over your child’s reaction will only worsen things.
– Do not postpone the inevitable. A
divorce can be an arduous process. It is not only about separating from your
partner. There are other aspects attached to it such as financial and
children’s guardianship matters. Although these cannot be ignored, some people
tend to prolong the settlement process because they want to “win” or for any
other reason. Prolonging a divorce indefinitely will create on your child a
feeling of uncertainty. Hence, it is best to end everything as swiftly as