How couples adapt to divorce plays an important role in how children adjust to this separation.
The webpage Familydoctor.org, from the American Academy of Family Physicians, offers a few recommendations to parents on how to work through this situation with their children.
- Be open and honest. Don’t keep your separation or divorce a secret; putting this conversation off will only make things worse. Rehearse what you will say beforehand so you deliver the news in a cool and calm manner.
- Make sure the children understand they did nothing wrong. Stress that they are what are most important to both you and your spouse.
- Be clear. They’ll probably want to know the logistics of their new situation. For example: Where will I live? Where will Daddy live? Who will drive me to soccer practice?
- Don’t make rash decisions. If possible, delay moving for a few weeks and try to keep the children’s routines as consistent as possible.
- Don’t speak poorly about each other. Avoid blame and be respectful. Your children will do better if they have a good relationship with both of you.
Keep in mind that if children see that their mother and father are okay, they will feel better. As for parents, both should try to stay busy throughout this process, try new things and pick up those activities that they used to enjoy, but haven’t had time to do.
Related article: Life after divorce is possible with time (article in Spanish)