Communicating the divorce to children

Written by: Patricia Pérez Salinas
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Experts in psychology say the decision to end a relationship is always a very difficult time for the couple. If in addition the couple has children together, the situation is complicated. It is important to communicate to children the best possible way.


The issue of concern to parents at the time is the way we have to communicate to their children the decision to separate, always with the goal that suffer as little as possible.

When to communicate to the children?

Choosing the right time is certainly very important. The first thing to consider is that the decision is final, that is, that parents are fully confident that no longer want to be together. For children it is painful and very harmful that parents expose these issues and continue "trying to work". When children communicates a divorce, it has to be really sure that this process is underway.


What kind of issues have to be decided before communicate to children a divorce?

Ideally, before providing children a divorce, the couple get a deal especially with that will affect the daily lives of their children. For example, where they will live, who or what will eventually happen to everyone. Keep in mind that children will ask questions and they could be parents have to answer. Because the answer to your questions are giving the impression that it is a thought out decision, which is not an impulse, and that everything is controlled by adults.


How can we tell?

When communicating a divorce is a fundamental rule: do not lie. Many people believe that lying or covering the child is protected from damage. This exceptions is not entirely true. Children pick up more information than we think, and we have to help them organize their information and shape their beliefs. It is not good to say "papa will work on a new site and therefore goes" when it is not true, arguments of this kind only occur in children insecurity and lack of control.

Adapting language to their age must be that "mom and dad do not get along or have stopped loving as boyfriends, but her parents remain and continue caring and wanting"


When is the best time?

Once parents have made the decision to divorce, look for a quiet time when there is no rush, which is in a relaxed family home. Ideally, both parents talk together theme. With this with this gesture, children are given a vision of unity as parents. Ideally there would be interspersed shifts. It is, generally explain the situation to them and they were asked to do the questions they deem appropriate.


When it would be good that one or both parents leave the family home?

We all need time to adapt to process information and, of course, children also. Keep in mind that the couple, with the course of events and for decision making and has had time to digest the situation, but this is not the case for children. Children, although discussions have witnessed or "bad sides" may not contemplate the idea of ​​divorce and for them this idea first appeared at the time that they inform. It is therefore advisable that before taking the next step, coexistence is maintained at least two weeks. Not good for a child waking up one morning and see that a parent is gone.


How often children react?

The separation of parents in itself is not harmful to children. Which can cause damage to them it is that parents do not properly address the divorce. The adaptation of children in a positive way is directly proportional to that of their parents.

There are children who want to talk continually about the subject and even ask the same questions again and again. This is obviously good and there to answer all your questions with love and patience.

However, there are other children who avoid the issue and not ask anything. Faced with such cases, we must be watching their reactions and, without worry, child, remind them that they can ask any questions you have as much queriéndoles remain their parents.


When to seek help from a psychologist?

More and more couples decide to separate when they go to a psychologist to guide them throughout the process from the beginning, advising on how to approach divorce and even more everyday aspects such visits.

In other cases, families seek advice when the decision has already been communicated to the children and are worried that this may affect them.

Where you should ask for professional help are:

  • If the child is not able to express feelings and shown isolated and sad.
  • If a fall occurs in significant school performance.
  • If you re-wetting the bed. If you show behavioral problems that were not presented.
  • If he is aggressive with peers and friends.
*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Patricia Pérez Salinas

Patricia Perez Salinas is a prominent psychologist specializing Forensic Psychology. Has a Masters in Clinical Psychology, Forensic and Legal Complutense University of Madrid, and his entire career has developed on these matters. Also serves as a professor at the University of Almería.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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