Going through a separation is never easy. Splitting up with a spouse is difficult in and of itself, but having to speak to children about it adds a whole other dimension of anxiety. While it might be tough to talk to your children during and after your separation from their mother, it’s something that has to be done. Thankfully, speaking about a separation with grace and dignity can indeed be accomplished.
When you talk to your children about the separation, make sure they fully understand that their mother isn’t going anywhere. Tell them that your relationship status has nothing to do with her role as their loving mom. Make sure they know 100 percent that their mother is still going to be deeply involved in their lives. Children need to understand that your separation has absolutely nothing to do with them or how either of you feel about them.
Be candid and honest when talking to your children during and after a separation. Don’t give them false hope. If you don’t anticipate a reunion with their mother, don’t mislead them. Don’t allow them to think that you might get back together if there’s absolutely no chance of it. Tell them honestly about how you both plan on living your lives. Most importantly, give them the opportunity to ask questions. Let them address any concerns that might be weighing heavily on them.
Always be positive about their mother. Regardless of how you feel about your ex, the goal is to never speak badly about her in front of your kids. Remember, she’s their mother. Don’t point fingers or portray their mother in an unflattering light. Instead, concentrate on what’s great about her. Separation is a tough situation for children and there’s no reason to add extra stress to the experience. If you feel ever feel like venting your frustrations about their mother, do so with fellow adults. Leave your children out of the discussion.
If your children are on the younger side, you might want to keep things as basic as possible. If you need to explain why you no longer live at home or why their mother no longer lives at home, tell them perhaps that your living arrangements have changed so you stop arguing. Avoid getting into complicated scenarios. Make it easy for your kids to process the situation.
Before you talk to your children about your separation from their mother, try to speak to your ex first. If you do so, it will allow you both to have the same reasoning for your split. You want to avoid confusing your children with conflicting details, after all. If you and your ex decide how you’re going to discuss the separation, be sure to keep to it.
With sensitivity and preparation, speaking to your children about their mother and your separation doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world. When you talk to your children about separation, your objective should be to be as considerate and tactful as possible. While separation might be extremely distressing for you, it’s crucial to think about how it might be affecting the youngsters. If they want to express their feelings to you about the whole thing, let them. Never ignore their emotions. Open and honest communication is key to success amid life’s biggest challenges.