Graham Greene, critic and British writer, said "there is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and allows the future to enter". Although it is real, this door sometimes opens too early. This is why we parents do not necessarily know how to announce a separation. Indeed, children are too small and innocent and we do not wish to bring them prematurely into the future.
A separation is a delicate situation that also affects the smaller ones. One of the main concerns of parents when they separate is how to announce their break-up to their children. When should it be done? Which words to use? And above all, how to answer the questions they will ask? The psychologist Monica Cruz, expert in the question, offers us the keys necessary to announce a separation to the children in an adequate way.
"Children must have a lot of tolerance towards adults."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-
Have a prior agreement
It is important for broodstockhave a prior agreement. Both partners need to know what to say to the children and to make the announcement together as much as possible. For this, it is important to train upstream and not to leave room for improvisation.
Regardless of the circumstances, if the situation becomes complex, it is important not to lose one's calm. In fact, if one of the partners loses his peace of mind, it is better to put an end to the conversation. and resume it later.
Tell the truth to children
It is better not to lie. A child is usually egocentric (especially before 6 or 7 years old), so he can tend to feel guilty. For this reason, it is important to have a concrete and clear explanation that prevents the child from inventing an excuse from his imagination because he lacks information.
"In announcing a separation to children, it is important to tell the truth in order to avoid creating in them confusion and, above all, guilt."Share
Give priority to safety first
It's not an easy time, but it's important for children to feel safety in their parents' words. This is the ideal way to make them understand that the decision is final.
Cruz advises to explain to the children that when they were united, the parents loved each other very much and created a family with all the love of the world. However, with the passage of time, they do not get along as well and consider that they can not be happy together anymore.
"In our happiest childhood memory, our parents were happy too."
Do not criticize each other
It is not no need to criticize the other. We can refer to some recent situations, or common disputes in recent times, but do not insult or blame the partner.
If we go into devaluation, we simply make the situation more difficult. It is information that brings nothing, that can be misinterpreted by the child and that can even create tension. We must forget phrases such as "He / she wants me to leave" or "He / she abandons me" for example.
Explain that everything has been tried
It's not a bad idea toexplain to the little ones that everything has already been tried. Both parents tried to maintain the family union by solving their problems, but finally it was not possible to arrive safely.
It's a way of pushing children to cunderstand that the decision is not impulsive. If they think that's the case, they may think the decision is reversible. It is therefore important to tell the truth with certainty in order to make them understand that after a period of reflection, a conclusion has been found and that it is the best solution for the well-being of all.
Other details to consider
From there, it is necessary to make the children understand than :
- They have nothing to do with the situation. Everything just did not go as the parents hoped.
- They can cry and express their emotions, they do not need to act as if nothing had happened.
- It is important for parents to seek the opinion of children. They can even ask them if they expected it and if they had noticed the change of situation in recent times. Thus, we avoid creating false ideas.
- Of course, it's important to explain what will happen in the immediate future. It must be affirmed that the family will always be a family, that time will be spent with dad and mom, etc. Thus, the uncertainty disappears.
- Finally, it is important to make sure that the children understood everything. If they have questions, it is important that they ask them.
Logically, announce a separation to children is not easy and their reactions can be very diverse. Denial, anger, silence … Whatever the situation, it is important that they understand that their parents will always be there for them, together or separated.