It’s hard for any child to find out that their parents are divorcing, no matter how old they are but sometimes is for the best. Most of the time, the way they find out about is matters very much.
Research studies show that parents conflict has a much bigger impact on a child’s future then the parents’ divorce. This means that children will be mentally healthier in a home where there is no conflict.
Here are a few ways you can approach this sensitive topic when talking to your teenager about it:
When telling your children that you’re going to get a divorce it is important for both parents to be there and that is for several reasons. Here are some rules that can make that dreaded moment easier on the child.
Rule 1 –Children need to feel safe
When giving them the news together with the other parent, they do get the feeling of safety. That is because you are showing that you still have a united front when it comes to parenting.
Rule 2 -Not their fault
Make sure you tell them that it is not their fault that you are getting a divorce. Most children experience feelings of guilt when parents are getting through a divorce.
Tell your child that you are not happy anymore with your partner and that separating would make both of you happier and as a result, the children will be happier too.
Rule 3. Positives first
Try to go put the positive things first explain to your teenager that they can have two different rooms in two different houses than that. Tell them they could go on holiday twice a year instead of once a year. Tell them they can have friends in two different places and they get to experience new things in a different location when visiting the other parent.
Rule 4 – Give them time
Don’t tell them just yet that they would have to choose what they want to live. Just tell them for not that you’re considering the divorce and give them some time to get used to the idea and process what is happening.
Rule 5 – Talk to others
You can encourage them to talk to their grandparents or other grown-ups that have gone through a divorce. They can hear other people’s point of view on how divorce is a positive change in someone’s life when they’re no longer happy together.
Rule 6- Kids are kids
It is important to let the children know that they don’t need to choose sides. When explaining the reason for your divorce, do not blame the other parent and do not tell your problems to the kids. They need to be kids and you should not treat them as adults. Don’t ask them for advice to your problems. Never forget that YOU are the parent you are the grown-up.
Rule 7 – Stability and structure
Children need stability and structure. You can offer them the stability by making a specific timetable for visits with the other parent and this shouldn’t change. Try to change as little as possible from the daily routines of the child. The child needs a stable and reliable parent who has the strength to make them feel safe every day.