Written By: Ann Conway, CDNH Coach-Facilitator and Kathrine Lacey, Attorney
One of the most challenging aspects of divorce for parents once the initial decision has been made is how to tell their children. The anticipated heartbreak and facing the people you love most in the world is daunting. Simple measures can minimize the impacts for your children.
Whenever possible, children do best when both parents sit down to talk to them together. The parents’ mutual love for their children can guide them to an emotionally reasonable position for the benefit of their children. There is no room for blame in this discussion.
It is best when age-appropriate details on what to expect in the coming months are shared, such as living situations and continuity in schooling, where possible. Reassure children of continuing contact with both parents and that although the parents are not going to live together anymore, each of them shares a deep love for their children.
It is tantamount to the children’s ongoing health to state frequently and strongly that they are not to blame for the divorce.
Likely a series of discussions, with length and breadth determined by the children’s ages, maturity and the particular circumstances are recommended. Holding space for the children’s emotional reactions demonstrates the love the parents have for their children. Addressing the additional fears of the children, such as sadness and anger, are part of the parents’ support at this time.
Parents may find additional supports in age-appropriate books, children’s counseling, and support from their community. At the same time, parents must refrain from negative talk about the other parent and respectfully request that friends and family do the same for the benefit of their children’s bond with the other parent.
Certainly, this may not be possible in every divorce situation. Please reach out to counselors in your area to support you through a customized plan for your family.
To schedule a consultation or for more information you can call (603) 321-0087 or visit our website www.collaborativedivorcenh.com
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