After you tell the children about the separation or divorce, keep the lines of communication open between you and your children. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Do what you can to keep the dialogue, any dialogue, going between you and your children. One of the best ways to keep your kids communicating with you is to have conversations with them about everyday things too. If every conversation seems to be about the break-up, they might soon start to avoid them altogether.
To encourage conversation with your child, choose phrases or questions that require more than a one-word or yes/no response. Try “What did you do at school today?” or “Let's talk about what we want to do this weekend” to get the discussion going.
Here are some more tips:
Children can ask questions that are difficult to answer throughout the separation or divorce, or even months or years afterward. Don’t avoid a question or give your child a misleading answer. If they have the courage to ask, find the courage to answer. If you don't have an answer for them, be honest about it. Say you don't know, or haven't made a decision yet.
In the Speak Up! sections of both the Kids Guide and Teen Guide, children are encouraged to speak up, talk about their feelings, ask parents questions and let their parents know when something concerns them.
If you’re concerned that your child has become increasingly withdrawn or doesn’t want to communicate with you since learning about the break-up, talk to your family doctor.