Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Telling Kids You Are Divorcing

Reader Question:

My husband and I are separating and will most likely divorce. We have two young children. I am wondering how to tell them about the divorce. I am really dreading this because I know how upsetting it will be.

Without trying to put extra guilt on you, divorce is tough on children. If there is any way you and your husband can go to therapy and work things out, please try or try again. Most marital problems can be solved and fixed if both partners are willing, submitted to God and work with a marital therapist.

Advertisement

If this isn’t the case, then this is what I recommend. Be prepared for your children to be sad, angry and anxious. Because they are so young, they will probably act out these feelings rather than talk about them. Thus, you will need to be firm but loving.  Draw out their feelings by asking questions. Then validate their feelings. When they misbehave, don’t ignore it because you feel guilty. Do what you would normally do to correct the behavior.

In terms of telling them about the separation, it is best if both parents tell the children. Give them as much detail as they need and no more. As soon as you know, tell them of your plans to live apart. Don’t blame, be angry or get into conflict in front of the children. Be civil and ready to answer tough questions. Most important, assure them that this decision is not their fault. You will have to keep doing this because kids believe divorce is their fault no matter what parents say.

Advertisement

When told, some children become immediately upset and others will show little emotion at first. Keep communication open so they can talk later when reality hits. This is a major loss and they will need to grieve. If they don’t, they can develop emotional problems later. So help them sort out their emotional feelings of loss. Encourage them to be honest and not say things just to please you.

Your children will want to know how this will immediately change their lives. So outline specific upcoming changes, e.g., daddy won’t be in this house to tuck you into bed; he will have another bed for you to sleep in when you are at his new house, etc. Keep it simple and factual.

Keep their lives as consistent as possible during the time of separation and divorce. Routine is important. Make sure they have one on one time with each parent. And don’t talk about divorce until you are certain it will happen. Many people continue to work on their problems during separation and reconsider divorce.

Previous Posts

What Does True Freedom Mean and Require?
As we celebrate this Independence Day, it is important to remember the freedom we have in this country to openly embrace our religious beliefs. For the Christian, true freedom is found in Christ. But with this freedom comes responsibility as ...

posted 7:00:54am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

5 Things to Say That Will Upset Your Partner
If you want to upset your partner, try these tried and true conversation starters or responses. These phrases will get a reaction, mostly, an upsetting one. So think before you speak! 1) We need to talk. Yes, this is the title of my latest ...

posted 7:00:05am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Are You Practicing The Best Parenting Style?
Parenting is on John's mind now that his second child has arrived. John was raised by a father who was harsh and demanding. John often felt as if he could not live up to his father's expectations. Now a father himself, John is aware that his ...

posted 7:00:20am Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Are You Genetically Predisposed to Worry?
Susan feels she can’t stop worrying no matter how hard she tries. She’s beginning to wonder if she is a born worry. She is asking, "Can worry be genetic?" In 2007, Yale researchers found a gene variation associated with chronic worrying ...

posted 7:00:57am Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Does God Hide in Times of Trouble?
When Christians are being beheaded in the middle east, when a man shoots people praying in a church, when young girls are taken and forced into sex slavery, when you are falsely accused or ridiculed for your beliefs, it often feels like God is ...

posted 7:00:35am Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.