During a Texas divorce, the communication between parents and children often breaks down, but for different reasons. Parents forget what it was like to be young. They either give their kids too much information or none at all. For children, this could be the very first real trauma they experience and do not have the words to describe how they are feeling.
To support kids throughout a divorce, parents can use the following guidelines to understand what their children need and how to talk to them on their level.
What do children want from their parents?
According to HelpGuide.org, children want their parents to get along and be kind to each other above everything else. Kids do not always understand that upset adults might say things that they do not mean. When divorcing parents fight, children often feel like it is their fault or that they need to take sides against mom or dad.
Children want both of their parents to stay active in their lives. Just because mom and dad live in separate homes does not mean that they cannot still maintain meaningful relationships with their kids.
How can parents communicate with their children?
GoodTherapy has several suggestions for parents who are having trouble deciding how to talk to their kids about divorce. To start, parents should speak to their children about the divorce together, honestly and in a civil manner.
Children, especially younger ones, may not be able to process the complex and abstract emotions that their parents experience. Communication should remain simple and centered around tangible facts, like where mom and dad are going to live and if the kids will start in a new school.
Parents must emphasize that their divorce is final and not entertain a child’s fantasies about the family staying together. They should also not be afraid to show their emotions; this can help kids understand that the bad feelings they may have are normal.