Breaking news about a divorce to your kids is hard enough – here are tips on making it somewhat less harsh
A common question I've been asked is who a divorce hurts more – the principals (husband and wife), or their kids (if any)? That's a hard question to answer because there are so many variables, but I believe that it's hard to top the children's hurt because their parents are their lifeblood, the only consistent thing in a world that keeps on changing.
So how does a couple going through a divorce tell their kids that they're getting divorced. That daddy or mommy can only see them a couple of times a week, if at all. Well, it's not easy, but I have a few ways that can possibly help. And remember, most of all, civility is of paramount importance here for two reasons. First, your kids will most likely blame one of you – keep it a level playing field and don't try to win points at this time. Secondly, there are going to be recitals and games in the future where you will both need to attend. Don't make it any more awkward than it already is.
Before Breaking The News It's good to talk to a child psychologist or at least someone who's been through the process to get a good idea of what to expect first-hand. Also, writing a script that clearly lays out the issue is a good idea, too, because the last thing you want to do is stammer through it.
After The News Explain to the children that it's not their fault and that now they will have love coming to them from two different places. Try to make sure they understand that, while this is a process, the fact that you love them very much will never change. Also, expect tears – this is a big change for them, and emotions will be at an all-time high.
Question and Answer Expect the children to ask you questions. Be honest, but don't lay blame on either side. Begin the process of showing them what will be different, even going to the other spouse's new place to have dinner to show that the kids will be all right over there. It won't be easy, but nothing about a divorce usually is. Keep strong, and it will go a long way in how positively your kids will react.