Surviving Divorce – When It’s Time to Tell the Kids

Surviving divorce, for some, is one the most difficult challenges a person can face during a lifetime. When a child or children are involved, however, a divorce becomes monumental in proportion. Not only does the permanent separation of two parents have a major effect on a couple’s offspring, but it is even harder to swallow considering the children have no other choice but to hang on and survive the ride.

Like their parents, children need help during divorce. While most parents realize that telling the children about the divorce is the hardest part of the process, they do little to prepare for the life altering moment they are about to face. Most parents are so wrapped up in their pain and drama that they put little thought into the process of telling the kids.

In fact, for divorcing parents who have a lot of descent between the two of them, telling the kids in a way that is less hurtful is often the farthest thing from either adult’s mind. More common than not, the children are gathered – usually after the parents have been fighting – and handed the news in an uncontrolled environment. Quite often this news is a big shock and exceptionally heartbreaking for the children.

When a child is told of a divorce in the family without planning by the parent, he or she can become confused, sad, angry, and experience an assortment of other emotions. These feelings are similar to those parents experience as they struggling in understanding the divorce process. Simply put, the child or children need to be told in a less shocking, thought out way.

Parents who are willing to take the time and make the effort to explain their decision to divorce in a gentle way are more likely to deliver the news in a less harmful manner. There are eBooks and other online resources that provide parents with the tools they need to tell their children about the divorce. These resources often provided templates that provide parents with word-for-word text – in age-appropriate language for children 5 to 10 or 10 to 15. The resources also help guide the parents, step-by-step, in preparing a personal family storybook, in a photo-album format, that the children will want to read. In other words, these resources don’t just tell the parent what to say, but actually says it for the parent. By utilizing online resources such as a family storybook, parents are considering their children’s feelings and delivering the worst of news in the best of ways.

By Ron Lasorsa