There is no such thing as a comfort zone when a parent shares the news of a divorce with children. The message is unwelcome no matter how gently the words are conveyed. No Texas parent wants a child to suffer pain, least of all pain that comes from parents’ actions.
There is no substitute, no messenger, to deliver the news. A parent must be honest with children about divorce. Children have no part in the decision, but they are deeply affected by the enormous change in family structure.
Children deserve more than information because their lives will be altered in swift, dramatic ways by divorce. Family experts say children must be allowed to respond, ask questions and get straightforward answers from parents.
Therapists say children presented with divorce news aren’t looking for details as much as they are hoping to be recognized by parents and heard. Questions children ask won’t be easy to answer, but counselors say the way parents respond is critical.
Due to immaturity, the younger children are the more likely to ask questions will reflect self-interest. Children want to know why divorce is necessary but also how the change will affect them directly.
Kids often believe a love loss between parents will become contagious. Children fear parents will withdraw the love they feel for them. Children also turn blame inward. Many kids feel something they said or did caused their parents to break up.
Parents must convey that the love they have for a child is ever present and not at risk. Children also must understand that the adult choice to divorce had nothing to do with them.
Logistics are also important to children. Prepare to supply full details about future living arrangements and visitations. Counselors and divorce attorneys also caution parents to refrain from disparaging a spouse in front of children to avoid confusing the feelings kids have for both parents.
huffingtonpost.com, “Children Of Divorce: How To Answer Their Three Most Important Questions” Adriana Velez, Jul. 06, 2013