Do Not Leave the Children in the Dark!
Key Points
  • It is important to tell the children about the divorce. Not telling them, thinking you are sparing them, only threatens the child’s security. The child knows something is amiss.
  • Telling your child that mom and dad will no longer be living together but will always be a family lets your child know that you are going to do your best to try and work together for the best interest of your child.
  • Talking together, as civil adults, rather than yelling and screaming at each other lets your child know that even thought the situation has changed, there are two households, mom and dad still love the child. Do not speak negatively or bad about your spouse.

When couples divorce, stress strikes both spouses. Your self-control may remain, but your stress will increase. Step away from your role as a spouse and parent. Step into your child’s world, try on his or her shoes in hopes of understanding what he or she is feeling.

You may consider telling your children that while you will no longer all live together, you will work things out in their best interest and continue to be a family. They will accept your splitting up much better if they feel they still have you both, even if it is under separate roofs. If they can still see and talk with the two of you as often as possible and continue with each of you in the roles they’ve assigned you in their hearts, they will get through this with you. And, please, don’t let them hear you say anything bad about their mom or dad.

Reality Check

Nationally, the number of children growing up without fathers jumped from 5.8 million in 1960 to more than 20 million in 1997.

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