Parents are usually at a loss when talking to their children about an impending divorce. What do you say? When is the perfect time? The experts say that you should sit with your children and tell them together that you are splitting up. Assure them that nothing will change, that even though the parents are splitting up because they no longer love one another, the children will always be loved. The parents guarantee that they will do what’s best for the kids and work together to “co-parent” and make joint decisions.
And then divorce happens IRL (in real life). And parents find it’s really tough to honor the promises. How can the kids think that nothing will change if one parent is moving out of the house? How do the kids know that the parents still love them when the household is experiencing such tension and stress as everyone tries to adapt to the “new normal”? How is everything the same when the kids are now expected to live like traveling salesmen, on weekends and during the week, even moving during the school week?
And each child will have his/her individual, unique reaction/response to the news that their parents are splitting. Maybe when the kids are very young and they are too young to communicate feelings, you won’t know how they feel and how they’re processing. But you often aren’t sure how they’re processing the changes or their new life when they’re older and more communicative. Not all kids are resilient. Not all kids are ok as long as the parents get along. Kids, like adults, are different.
Two kids, two sex talks! One kid listened to me read a book and then took the book, threw it across the room and proceeded to cry and kick me for telling him. The 2nd child, asked a question that I was prepared to answer but I had her assure me that she would listen to the response. I started in earnest to tell her exactly how things happen. When I was finished, she looked at me and said, can I go in the pool now? And she got up without another word and jumped in the town pool Two kids, two different reactions. Try to accept where your kids are which is a big ask since you’re probably not sure where you are!