Telling Children – What do you say?

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“How can we tell our children about our decision while safeguarding our individual relationships and  minimizing tension?”
What and how children are told about your decision to separate or divorce is critical. Not only will it shape how your children experience your separation but it will also set the stage for future your relationship as parents.
Children need to:

  • Be informed about how life will change (where will they live, when will they see Mom, when will they see Dad, will they still attend the same school, etc.) and what will stay the same.
  • Understand separation is an adult decision and that they are not to blame.
  • Receive reassurance that parents will continue to love them and remain involved in their lives.
  • Know they can talk ask questions and talk about their feelings.

What can you do?
Prepare:

  • Discuss with the other parent about what will be said to your children.
  • Identify what issues will be most important to your children.
  • Agree on what will be said, who will say it and how you will provide children with a similar message.
  • Think through how you will manage your feelings when talking with children.