"Are we no longer family then?" (separation/divorce)

"Are we no longer family then?" (separation/divorce)

How do we tell our child that we are going to separate

Everyone has a different image of the "perfect family," yet in almost every vision, the parents are a happy couple. However, the reality is very different. Today there are many couples with children who have separated and still maintain a safe, loving, reliable environment for their children. The only difference is that the parents are no longer lovers. And even if you are about to separate/divorce, we would like to encourage you - you certainly did not make this decision lightly and it says nothing at all about your qualities as a parent! For the child, a separation does not mean that it will not grow up just as happy and carefree, it is not because the parents are still lovers, it depends on many other factors.

Open communication is essential

The big and nagging question, when are you going to tell your kids? First of all, there is no such thing as a perfect time for this, but remember that children are extremely sensitive to the atmosphere within the nuclear family. They usually notice very early on that something has changed in the dynamic between the parents. That's why one open communication with your children so important! Also, you should definitely have the conversation together lead with your children, be prepared and plan enough time for the conversation. If you have several children, the question is whether you tell them together or individually. It is best to do this depending on the age and emotional maturity of your children. You can speak differently with teenagers than with kindergarten children, and older children will have different questions for you. Your children are emotionally connected to both parents. Even if it is difficult at this moment, it is very important that you stand in front of the child no finger pointing makes or there are discrepancies in front of the child. Of course, the topic weighs heavily on you, but no matter how great the anger or the pain of separation, your child is not the right addressee for it. This only means that your child will feel helpless and hurt, will feel an inner turmoil. Regardless of who is "at fault" for your breakup, your child is entitled to one unencumbered relationship to both parents.

children must not all the details know, but what is important to them. And that is for your child, that you are both doing well, also what the future everyday life will look like. In order to relieve the child of any worries and concerns, talk to him about the future everyday lifewhere you will live and how you will live. Above all, address the things that you know are important to your child and that they will not change (e.g. leisure activities, fixed visiting times with the grandparents). the most important information for your child is that although you are no longer lovers, neither of you separates from the child and you always remains his parents. You should also make it absolutely clear to your child that it is not their fault, nor does it bear any responsibility.

Even if you want to cheer up your child in conversation, it is important no false promises close. Although these can be comforting in the acute moment, in the long run the result will be that your child no longer trusts you and will be very insecure. Even if you don't already have an answer to all your children's questions, tell him honestly.

Each child will react differently to this information. It is important that you feelings of your child endure in the moment and don't argue against it. The news that the parents are separating is of course initially associated with great fear and uncertainty. The nuclear family is for your child, sort of Safe haven, who starts to falter with this news. It may be that he is very angry or with a lack of understanding reacted, give your child the feeling that you are there and for all feelings enough space is. Maybe your child has a lot of questions right away, but maybe it also needs time to “digest” what has been said. Therefore, it is important to make it clear to your child that any time can talk to you about it.

This conversation is a big effort for all of you, but you will master it!



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