Re: How do you prepare young children for divorce?
Ok, I have no large experience with divorce, but once I got separated from someone I had been living with. Fortunately, there were no kids involved. But I know it is painful for the couple, even when they have finally decided the marriage can't be preserved.
My parents never divorced, but for a long time they lived as if they were so, each of them leading their own separate life. This didn't affect me very much, because they hardly fought or discussed in my presence.
Basically, I think what you see and hear is what affects you. And this seems to be especially true for children. If they don't see fights between you and your husband, if they don't hear his verbal abuse towards you, then they might at first not understand why on earth you are divorcing at all.
I think it is always a blow. There are no ways to make it pain-free, but if you stay calm and civil; if you answer all their questions; if you reassure them that no matter what happens their father and you will always be there for them, even if in separate locations, then their getting over it is a matter of time. Try not to spoil them with too many gifts and a weaker discipline in order to compensate for their "loss".
I agree with the other poster: try to have an amicable relationship with your ex. You may even be surprised to see an improved relationship after the split. This happens, you know.
Try to keep your sense of humour, as best as possible, but I know it is not easy. Don't forget physical contact: hug and kiss them as much as adequate, especially the boy. We tend to forget that boys also need physical contact. My daughter was a thumbsucker until she was nine years old. She stopped it of her own all of a sudden, probably because she was afraid her friends at school might discover it. We often discussed with her about ways of stopping it, but they never worked out until she made the decision herself. I hope this is only a temporary relief for your son.
Tell them that they will now have two homes. That could be fun.
Allow them to cry, if they feel like it. You don't have to say much in these occasions. Just hug them.
If they express anger, be patient. Don't scold them. It will pass.
Last edited by pendulum; 08-15-2008 at 12:31 PM.