What To Tell Your Children
What To Tell Your Children
Parents often are hurt, confused, and unprepared to deal with the needs of the children during separation and/or divorce. Children experience their own unique pain, confusion, rejection, abandonment, and fear when parents are separating. The following suggestions may help you to help your children through the process:
1. Give your children only a simple explanation as to what is happening. DO NOT tell them or let them hear the "gory" details of the break up.
2. Tell them where each parent will be living.
3. Reassure your children they will continue to be taken care of and they will be safe and secure.
4. When talking to the children about the break-up don't use the expression, "We don't love each other any more". Children worry that if parents stop loving each other; they may also stop loving them.
5. Your children see that parents may stop loving each other. You must explain that your love for them is a special kind that never changes.
6. Children may feel responsible for causing the divorce. You must reassure your child that they are not to blame, that this is a problem between you and your spouse and that they had nothing to do with it and did not cause it. They may also feet it is their responsibility to bring parents back together. Let them know that your decision is final and that they will have to be accept it.
7. Often single parents feel guilty and become overindulgent because their children have to go through a divorce or break-up. You have to give and set for your children limits. Your children need consistency more than they need to be spoiled.
8. Spend time every day with each child individually, to give him or her special attention.
9. Your child is still a child and should NEVER become the "man of the house" or the "little woman”. If this is done your child stands a grave chance of a role reversal which is incredibly dangerous to your child’s mental health and well being. You must continue to be a parent to your children and you must be the adult of your home. You must seek out other adults to fill your need for companionship.
10. Avoid the many situations that place children n the impossible position of crying to please both parents or trying to choose which parent to please. It is never a child's responsibility to choose which parent to spend time with, which parent's side to be on, or which parent will "get" custody of the child.
11. Don't use your children as a way to get back at the other parent. Children are not possessions or objects and must never be used as such. Children can be terribly emotionally harmed hen caught in the "crossfire" between parents.
12. Throughout your life, you and the other parent will continue to be co-parents of your children. Pledge to cooperate responsibly toward your child’s growth and development of your children as an expression of your mutual love for them.
13. A break up can be a time of loss for each family member. You are entitled to reach out for support and comfort, but NOT from the children.
14. Be patient and understanding with your children. Be patient and understanding with yourself.