Table of contents:
- Your conversation with your child is a kind of point of no return. After the words are spoken, this event will forever be in your child's life, in his memories, even if you later change your mind about divorce. Divorce should be reported to children only if you are 100% sure that it will take place
- When to speak?
- Simple, short, honest
Video: How To Tell Your Child About Divorce - Society
Your conversation with your child is a kind of point of no return. After the words are spoken, this event will forever be in your child's life, in his memories, even if you later change your mind about divorce. Divorce should be reported to children only if you are 100% sure that it will take place
Daria recalls when she was a teenager, her mother discussed with her an alcoholic father, complained about him, asked her daughter for advice, as if they were friends. It was nice to feel so mature and meaningful. Daria saw that her mother was unhappy and advised her to divorce. But my mother did not get divorced. And after a while this conversation was repeated again, advice was given again … and the marriage was preserved.
Refrain from discussing divorce as an option with children of any age (“I don’t want to get divorced anymore, do you think?”). Such discussions change the child's idea of the family world - he becomes anxious, dangerous, the attitude towards the parent, the divorce with whom they are discussing, changes, he seems to be forced to “be friends against” one of the parents, but at the same time he must still love both. If you really want to talk about a divorce with a child, this is the criterion that you need the help of a psychologist.
When to speak?
Cyril found out that his parents were divorcing when he was five. He remembers crying when his parents screamed. That my mother lay at home, without getting up, crying - the divorce coincided with a lack of work. That they then lived with their mother for a long time only together. My business helped Mom to get out of the post-divorce crisis. For eight years now she has been in a more harmonious relationship. Kirill successfully finishes school, is preparing to enter a prestigious university.
You need to determine and plan in advance when it is best to talk to your child. Like adults, children perceive stressful information not separately from their whole life, but depending on the available mental resources at the moment. It is advisable before this conversation for a week or two to try to maintain an even, emotionally warm contact with the child, especially the parent with whom he will live. So you are preparing a "reliable rear" for the child.
It is better to talk about a week before the move of one of the parents, so that the child begins to get used to the thought of the upcoming changes in life. In the period after the conversation and before the move, it would be great to conduct all discussions between parents in a calm and respectful tone, not to change the usual rhythm of the child's life, creating a feeling of "the world is in order."
Simple, short, honest
Simply - the words should be accessible to the child's understanding (“my dad and I decided to live separately” or “my dad and I decided to divorce”).
In short - long introductions and consolatory speeches will stir up anxiety, the logic is that since they have been consoling for so long, then everything is definitely bad. The child has not yet fully understood whether he should be upset or not, and his reaction largely depends on your reaction. If you are sure that it will be better for you and the child, you broadcast that very "world is in order", the child will feel it, and the information will be perceived more calmly. Parents' tears will have the opposite effect. The adequacy of your reaction can be checked in advance by mentally imagining a conversation with a child and saying the words that you are going to say.
Honestly means speaking the truth and making promises only for yourself. Children of any age experience betrayal and failure to fulfill promises very hard. Therefore, it is better to promise less, but what you agreed on, be sure to do it.
There is no need to call every day, for the child every time it is a reason to be upset, an extra reminder that the parent is no longer around. Agreed when you see next time, and great. Take care of yourself and your child, especially the first time after moving. Instead of emotional torture every night, call up about business, plans, questions that arise, or just a desire to chat: “if anything - call,” “if you miss, call”. In a period of changes, this is quite enough for a child - to know that you can always talk.
What to say?
When preparing for a conversation, it is important to correlate the amount of information and the age of the child.
- Until the age of three, ideas about the world are still very blurred and memory is in the process of formation, no solemn announcements are needed, it is better to say to the parent with whom the child remains, “Mom loves you very much, and Dad loves you very much; it so happened that dad will now live separately, when he settles in a new place, we will go to visit; and he will also come to us”. Until the age of three, keep the word "divorce" with you and all your reasons too. The child is not ready for this.
- From three to seven years, the recommendations are almost the same, you can add to this information about how the child will now see and keep in touch with the second parent ("you and dad will call up, dad will come to you every two weeks"). We are afraid of the unknown, when there are more facts - fear leaves, is replaced by understanding.
- From seven to 11 years old - a junior schoolchild is to some extent in a more advantageous situation, many of his classmates live only with mothers or only with fathers, his life experience is greater. He has a responsible area of activity that will help to switch attention from parents to lessons, homework, school affairs. At this age, if the child does not ask about the reasons, there is literally no need to explain them, especially when it comes to the alternative relationship of one of the spouses. You can soften the discussion of the reasons to "we are tired of swearing and resenting each other."
- The teenager will have to correctly voice the real reasons, they are already old enough that attempts to hide / distort the truth caused the child's protest. That being said, no matter what happens, remember that two people always do a divorce. Anything that is said should be said with respect to your future ex-spouse.
Natasha's parents divorced when she was eight. He remembers that his father blamed his mother and grandmother for everything. After some time, dad and mom developed a new relationship. When Natasha was 17, she had to move to her grandmother, because the relationship with her stepfather did not work out, and her mother was expecting a child. The general message from parents is that first marriage is a mistake. Natasha feels that she too is a mistake
Making sure your parents love him is vital to a child. It is necessary to broadcast to him that he is wonderful, that he is the best thing in your relationship. Whatever happens in your life, both parents are part of the child himself, he loves them, whatever they may be. Any negativity about one of the spouses will upset and hurt the children. Your ex will remain in your life and the life of your child, and both of you are interested in creating an adequate, comfortable relationship, and ideally, friendships.
“My mom, her new husband and my dad respect me and treat me as someone who deserves to be heard. Mom speaks with me on equal terms, her husband talks about his homeland and listens to my opinion about the problems in this state. My father takes me seriously and respects my opinion, even if he does not agree with him."
Adelina, 15 years old 1
Let that be the goal in the divorce process - to remain friends. After all, for you and your spouse, divorce can be an opportunity in the future to build other, healthier and happier family relationships. Children during this period of change need the quiet support of loving adults. Then, for the child, the situation of divorce will be a valuable life experience that will help him to create a healthier and happier family in the future.