Separation is one of the most challenging situations children will have to go through. Divorce can be excruciatingly hard for everyone involved, but once the decision is made, it’s crucial to talk to your children about it in a way that is positive for everyone involved.
Sometimes, separations can be very amicable. Where there are little assets to divide and everyone is in agreement on parenting matters of where the children will live, there can be minimal conflict. However, in most cases, the family law situation is very emotional, and couples can often say and do things under stress, that they usually wouldn’t, which can hurt the children over time.
The primary focus should always be the best interests of the children. It is not about what suits you or what punishes your ex-partner. Your children need to be in a place that can provide them with the most stable and supportive environment. A good tip is to think less about what you want and more about what you can live with.
Believe us when we say that there are good ways to deal with it and wrong ways to deal with it.
According to Family Relationships Online, there are many tips on how to talk to your children positively, and things to try and avoid. These are:
Tips for Talking to Children About Separation
- Make it easy for your children to love both parents.
- Tell them they are loved.
- Tell the truth.
- Keep it simple.
- Be civil. Don’t criticise or belittle the other parent in front of the children.
- Reassure your children that the separation has nothing to do with them.
- Stay future-focused.
Things to Avoid
- Children are usually very loyal and trusting, so it is important to look at how you behave with them to make sure you are not abusing their loyalty and trust.
- Don’t use children as the messenger. Using your children as messengers between the two of you teaches children that adults cannot talk honestly or directly to each other.
- Don’t use the children to spy on the other parent. Asking a child to report on the other parent is destructive – it is using a child for your motives.
- No name-calling. Name-calling and anger between parents have a destructive effect on children.
Four Ways Using a Positive and Calm Tone of Voice Can Help
- Your child is more likely to listen. You are more likely to get your child’s attention if you talk to them rationally and calmly. Your voice can still be firm, but talking gently will help you get more positive results.
- Being aggressive will get an adverse reaction. Research shows that yelling may be as harmful as an aggressive discipline. It may get your child to listen in the short term, but over the longer term, it will have an adverse effect.
- Children learn from our behaviour. If children see adults swearing and yelling, they will mirror this behaviour. If you criticise them or talk negatively about their other parent, they will show signs of this in their behaviour in how they speak to others.
- You’ll have a stronger relationship with your children. When you treat a child with respect and kindness, they will do the same back to you, and it will strengthen your bond. Show them why it’s important to have manners and treat others with kindness. They may not appreciate it now, but they will later in life.
The ultimate decision of the Court will always reflect the best interests of the children for parenting matters in Australia. The Judge will investigate many factors involved, but their own opinions can still be influential. It’s essential to act in a way that will not leave them any room to question your actions.