Telling kids about divorce is not easy
Divorce is difficult for everyone, and this is especially true when there are children. Divorce affects kids in different ways, depending on their age.
Parents can mitigate the negative effects of divorce by being present, staying connected and communicating their love to the children. There is also a better way to share the news with the kids so their life is not turned upside down.
Effects of divorce on children
According to the BYU Undergraduate Journal in Psychology, divorce can have long-term consequences that follow children into adulthood if the parents are not aware of the effects of divorce and do not take action to mitigate the problems. One of the effects of divorce is having negative opinions about marriage, family and relationships, and this can impact future romantic relationships. The reduction in parent involvement after divorce also takes a mental toll on kids, and this can lead to academic struggles and criminal activity.
Some of the key methods to reducing negative effects are coparenting and minimizing conflict between the parents. These give the child a better sense of security, and there is an increase in communication and cooperation.
How to tell the kids about the divorce
Minimizing effects should begin with the divorce discussion. According to Parents.com, both parents should sit the family down together and explain what is going on. Approaching the situation as a united front shows the kids that mom and dad prioritize parenting and their love towards the children. It is helpful to plan ahead what to say and practice it.
A child will react to the news in various ways, depending on age and personality. Parents need to be open to all emotions and questions, and they should communicate clearly and honestly.