Marriages sometimes do not go as expected and end in divorce. Especially when it comes to children, everything can become more difficult. Explaining the divorce to the child is of great importance at this point, as this can cause emotional damage to children. How should the decision of divorce be explained to the child in order to be affected by this whole process as little as possible, what do the experts recommend? Let’s start.
1. Do not hide this situation from your child
When couples have children, it can be more difficult for them to decide on divorce. In fact, this situation can sometimes lead to the postponement of the divorce or the couples to live separately for a while, thinking that they can get together again in the future. Or, couples who give up on divorce may decide to divorce again after a certain period of time, realizing that their marriage will not work. However, all these experiences can be hidden from children, considering that they will be adversely affected.
prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan says that it is not the right solution to hide what is happening in order not to reflect the problems on the child. Because although the parents act as if nothing is happening, the child follows the events and interprets the events as much as his mind allows. These uncertainties can also cause the child to worry. The child worries about why his or her parents are living in another house, whether he will return home later, or whether the parent will one day leave him as well. For this reason, it is necessary to explain the divorce of the parents correctly to the child.
2. Explain the divorce decision to your child together
Disruption of the unity of their parents can cause children to feel divided and abandoned. For this reason, it is very important to create a safe environment when the divorce decision is announced to the child. Specialist Clinical Psychologist Özden Sevil says that it is the most ideal option for the parents to explain the divorce decision together.
If one of the parents has difficulty speaking, the explanation should be made in an environment where both parents are present. If this is not possible and you have to make separate statements with your spouse, you should use a common language and be honest with your child.
3. Use simple and clear expressions without going into details
The most appropriate explanation; it will be that divorce means the end of the marriage, that they will live in separate houses, but even if the marriage is over, motherhood and paternity continue. Until they get used to this new situation and understand all that is going on, children can ask a lot of questions. Although it is important to be honest in your answers, you should not tell your child all the details.
Preschool children have difficulty in understanding and listening to long and detailed explanations in terms of their verbal skills. In older children, the details of what happened can lead to confusion and an increased sense of guilt. For this reason, it is necessary to explain the decision of divorce to the child in simple and clear terms, without going into details.
4. Tell your child about the changes in his life
When parents announce their decision to divorce, children want to know about the changes this will cause in their lives. Uncertainty can cause fear, anxiety and anxiety in children. For this reason, you should explain to your child with concrete examples who and where he will live after the divorce, what will remain the same in his life and what changes will occur.
You should make your child feel that your responsibilities as a parent have not changed and that you will always love them. You should decide together what your interview order will be, and you should be sensitive about meeting your child’s demands in this process.
5. Do not force the child to take sides
It may not be as easy as it is thought to explain the divorce to the child, even if everything has been decided beforehand, the spouses may succumb to their feelings and make accusations to each other during the explanation. You should be careful not to talk about the problems between you in front of your child, you should make your explanation without blaming each other, and you should not force him to take sides.
6. Don’t leave the custody decision up to your child
The responsibility for this decision rests with you as a parent. No child should be forced to choose between his mother or father. For this reason, you should not ask questions about who wants to stay with your child during the custody decision process. You should explain to your preschooler or primary school child in a way that he or she can understand.
7. Do not use the child as a tool
In post-divorce conversations, you should not put your child in a conversational position between you, and you should not send a message to another parent through him.
8. Collaborate on issues like school and health
Specialist Pedagogue Güzide Soyak says that it is very important for both parents to cooperate on issues such as school and health problems. Because children miss their parent who abandoned or neglected them after divorce. In such situations, they experience intense feelings of unhappiness, introversion, and rejection.
The child, neglected by his parents, may experience behavioral problems in the future because he loses his role model and may encounter difficulties in establishing relationships with the opposite sex. Therefore, parents need to cooperate in matters such as school meetings or hospital needs.
9. Do not compete with each other about your child
Sometimes after divorce, spouses can compete with each other. Their feelings for each other can cause them to compete for taking care of the child, spending time or meeting all his needs. Such a situation will cause your child to be emotionally worn out and damaged.