Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Choose carefully where you tell your children about your divorce

Many parents feel anxious and worried about how to tell their children about their impending divorce as it is a major life change.

I always recommend choosing your time carefully. You must been in a “good place” yourself as if you are tearful, angry or overwhelmed your child will feel insecure and anxious and distressed. Never tell your children just before important events such as a birthday or a friend’s party that they have been looking forward to, or a designated special day out. The best time is early in a weekend or school holiday where you are on hand to be around and on hand to answer their questions, reassure them and give them lots of hugs and cuddles if they need them. Give them time to absorb what’s happening.

Children are very perceptive and often know more than you think. Their concerns will revolve primarily around their own needs; they want to know how the divorce will affect them. Will they have to move home? Will they still keep their pets? Will they still go to Cornwall with Granny in July? One client mentioned that the second question that her son asked her was "Will we have to return to dial-up internet?"  So be prepared to give your children information about how the divorce will affect their 'day-to-day' lives. They don't want to give up their friends or change schools because you are getting divorced and remember that the age of your child is an important factor to consider in what you say. A simple and direct summary of the situation is often a good beginning. Very young children will have a limited understanding of the meaning of 'divorce,' while older children will have more questions which guide the conversation.

Sue Atkins is an internationally recognised Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Author of the Amazon best selling books  "Parenting Made Easy – How To Raise Happy Children” & “Raising Happy Children for Dummies" one in the famous black and yellow series as well as author of the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She has just launched the 1st in her series of Parenting Made Easy apps for iPhones and iPads – The Secrets To Well Behaved Kids https://itunes.apple.com/app/sue-atkins-parenting-made/id439743586?mt=8

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