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Ask The Expert - Divorce Dilemma

by on 23/08/2014     148 1880

 

Question : I’m going through a divorce. How do I prepare my children (ages 9 and 5) for it? I always find it hard to talk about the divorce because it’s affecting me greatly and it has also made me a bitter person. I understand it’s not their fault, but sometimes I can’t help but feeling so angry at everything including them.


Answer : After you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, or whichever was the partner who initiate the complex journey. The next big step is to tell your children. Before you proceed, do remember that the divorce is between the spouses, not the children. Your children still deserve the rights to know their biological parents. In this view, I would strongly recommend a partnership between spouses (regardless of who was right or wrong), and undertake these steps :


- Don’t wait for the other partner to do it. Tell them when the other partner is missing in events or leaving the house. Introduce them to these changes quickly so that they can be prepared.

- Always (at least try at all times) do it as a couple. Try to have this conversation with the entire family present. Your partner may not be cooperative or amicable enough to do this, so you and your soon-to-be-ex may have to have separate conversations with your children. Do not do the “blame or shame” approach or talk badly about the other parent.

- Agree on what both partners will say. It is best for both parents to take time to talk about what you are going to say to your children before you sit down to talk with them. Try to have the same story about why you are divorcing and not contradict, blame, or shame with one another in front of the kids.

- Respect your children. Be certain to make sure they understand that they did not cause the divorce. Many children will feel sad and believe that they caused the divorce.

- Don’t confuse the children. Let them know how their lives will change but be patient with them. Do your best to make sure they are not burdened about where they will live, who they will live with, where they will go to school, and who will care for the daily schedules and stuff that matters.

- Encourage questions from your children. Let them ask questions after your initial dialogue and let them know that they can always ask more questions whenever they need to. Be open, not closed. Be kind, not frustrated.



Delivering the news of a divorce is never easy. It is often hard to cope with, especially for your children who most likely will be shocked, overwhelmed, and saddened by the news of your divorce. Don't be afraid to ask for help from others. Your friends, family, and members of a support group can provide a lot of love and support.


 

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About Our Expert


Professor Dr. Eric Lim is the founder of Kits4Kids Foundation, a foundation that specializes in the education and development of children with special needs. 

 

He also leads many international social enterprises all around the world. Prof. Dr. Eric Lim holds a PhD in Educational Management as well as Masters of Education, Bachelor of Special Education and Masters of Psychology, focusing on child psychology and counseling.

 

He is passionate about helping as many people as he could in spreading the love for children and humanity.

 

Prof. Dr. Eric Lim is here to answer your questions on:

 

  • Childhood care (Aged infants and above)
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  • Family counseling
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