If you have two or more kids, you've probably noticed that each of them has a unique personality. One might be more outgoing than the other. While they may share common characteristics, such as their love of sports or the types of food they like best, they are individuals and may react to various situations in vastly different ways. If you recently decided to divorce and have not yet told your children, you'll want to keep their personalities in mind when you give them the news.
If you know that one child is prone to angry outbursts, be prepared to witness a similar reaction when you tell him or her about your impending divorce. Another child might go off to his or her room and not come out all day. Just remember that your divorce doesn't have to ruin their lives, and with the right type of support and a lot of love, you provide them with the coping mechanisms they need.
Avoid these mistakes
You may feel tempted to say negative things about your spouse when you and your children are discussing divorce. That type of approach typically backfires, however, because children love both their parents. The following list includes mistakes like this that you'll want to avoid if your goal is help your kids come to terms with your divorce in a positive way:
- Don't fabricate stories to cover the truth. Children are adaptable and do best when given straight facts.
- You might think it a lot easier to just send your kids a group email, especially if you tend to avoid situations where people might get emotional. In-person discussions are usually the best course of action when it comes to telling kids about divorce.
- Your divorce will undoubtedly impact your children's lives; however, it's not their problem, so don't give them more information than they need. It is best to keep adult topics between adults.
- Some parents try to use their children to deliver snarky messages to their exes or to use them as pawns in battles for loyalty.
- Trying to get your kids to be mad at their other parent may not only be counterproductive, it might wind up causing distance in your own parent/child relationship.
While each of your children may react differently to your news when you tell them you are getting divorced, overall, most kids can rebound and move on to new lifestyles without suffering long-lasting consequences. There may definitely be a few bumps in the road along the way, but if you have a strong support system in place, things will likely turn out okay.