Families Change Parent Guide to Separation & Divorce

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Telling the Children

One of the most difficult things for parents to do when they separate or divorce is telling their children. Parents often put off this emotional discussion because they don’t know how to break the news to their family. It’s important, however, to be honest with your children once the decision has been made. How you deal with this important step will have a great impact on how your children adapt to this change in their lives.

Although tensions may be running high, couples should try to come to an agreement on what and how they will tell the children. Carefully plan the discussion, such as how to approach the children and how to answer their questions. This will go a long way to helping your family cope with the news. Remember, your children look to you for guidance. Their reaction will be affected by how you tell them the news.

If there has been open hostility between you and your former spouse in the household, your children, especially older or teenage children, may not be surprised by the news that you’re ending your relationship. It will be more shocking for families when couples have kept their troubles private. Whatever the situation – even when couples constantly argue in front of the family – discovering that their parents have decided to separate or divorce is upsetting and traumatic for children.