8 Tips for explaining your breakup to your kids

If you’re breaking up with your partner, it’s important to prepare well for the conversation with your children to gently and lovingly prepare them for the new situation.

Although it may not seem like it, the divorce rate in Germany has been dropping in recent years and was around 33% in 2018, according to Statista. Divorce or separation is particularly unpleasant when children are involved. For them, the family as well as their lives are changing – and Upheavals are often difficult to cope with. Parents should be aware of their Prepare offspring appropriately and lovingly for the new situation. The following tips can be helpful for this.

1. Plan the conversation.

Before you sit down together to deliver the message, think about how to explain the breakup to your kids and, if possible, coordinate with your ex-partner ahead of time about how to respond to tough questions.

2. Stick to facts.

When your children ask you questions about the reason for the breakup, try to give them simple facts. It can give you z.B. say that their parents will no longer live together, but still love their children just as much. Speak calmly and try to avoid an angry tone. A possible explanation would be, "Your mom and I don’t love each other the way we used to and have decided to live separately."

Explaining separation

3. Do not blame.

No matter what has happened, keep your explanation as simple as possible. Avoid giving your children details about the reasons for your breakup, such as infidelity, mental health issues or alcohol abuse. Parents should choose their words carefully and speak in a neutral tone that does not imply blame.

Most importantly, emphasize that it’s not your child’s fault that change is coming. The feeling of security and contentment, as well as the fact that your children feel loved, are clearly paramount.

4. Have an age-appropriate conversation.

A 6-year-old child may accept your explanations without asking further questions. "If a 10- to 12-year-old child asks more questions, try to stick to the truth. If a mother is newly in love, she might say, "I need to move on and do other things in my life". Depending on their age, reading and discussing books with your child about separation can also be very useful.

Young people, on the other hand, may have already figured out the reason for the breakup and now want an explanation. Older children can sometimes handle the bitter truth surprisingly well, but as a parent, you should still avoid telling your children at length about the negative aspects of your partner’s behavior.

5. Say it’s okay to be sad.

Make your children feel that you are always there if they have questions and that it is okay to be sad. Tell children, "We are sad about this change, but sometimes you have to make difficult decisions to do what is best for the family."

6. Highlight the things that stay the same.

No matter how old your child is, emphasize all the things that stay the same. A child who is only 10 or 11 can make statements like, "We won’t be married anymore, but we’re still your parents who love you." quite understand.

7. Give your children time.

Once you plan to live apart, you should give your children a few weeks to process this information. But be sure to explain to your children exactly what part of their lives each parent will be taking from now on.

8. Involve caregivers.

If you have a babysitter, he or she will also be confronted with the question of the extent to which he or she is affected by the separation. If you are still looking for childcare, be sure to bring up the subject openly when interviewing for a job. Talk to the babysitter about what you are doing and also about how best to respond to the children’s follow-up questions. A daycare provider or regular babysitter quickly becomes a kind of aunt or big sister in such a situation and can help keep children’s backs turned.

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