How much information to give
😶Especially at the beginning of your separation or divorce, you’ll need to pick and choose how much to tell your children. Think carefully about how certain information will affect them.
😐Be age-aware. In general, younger children need less detail and will do better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information.
🤔Share logistical information. Do tell kids about changes in their living arrangements, school, or activities, but don’t overwhelm them with the details.
😯Keep it real. No matter how much or how little you decide to tell your kids, remember that the information should be truthful above all else.
Helping children cope with divorce … listen and reassure.
👪Support your children by helping them express emotions, and commit to truly listening to these feelings without getting defensive. Your next job is reassurance — assuaging fears, straightening misunderstandings, and showing your unconditional love. The bottom line: kids need to know that your divorce isn’t their fault.
👶🏾Help kids express feelings.
👧🏽For kids, divorce can feel like loss: the loss of a parent, the loss of the life they know. You can help your children grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings.
👦🏽Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected.
🧒🏽Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. You can help them by noticing their moods and encouraging them to talk.
🧑🏽Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Let them know that whatever they say is okay. If they aren’t able to share their honest feelings, they will have a harder time working through them.
👩🏾Acknowledge their feelings. You may not be able to fix their problems or change their sadness to happiness, but it is important for you to acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them. You can also inspire trust by showing that you understand.
Credits – Amanda Buys