Explaining the Reasons for the Divorce
Divorce will impact the lives of your children profoundly, and they have a right to know why you're getting divorced. So it's your duty to explain your reasons for the divorce in a way they can understand. Here are some discussion guidelines to help you in this matter.
1. Let kids know they didn't cause the divorce
Start off by reassuring the children that they did not cause the divorce, and that they are not at fault for your marriage failing. This may seem obvious to adults, but it isn't always so obvious to kids. Parents will frequently argue about issues related to the kids: A child's interests or behavior, discipline, and other issues related to parenting. Children are likely to remember this, and to dwell upon these instances when trying to think about all the things that might have caused the split up.
If kids have overheard arguments that revolved around them, you should let them know that these arguments were a symptom of other frustrations that come with a failed marriage, not the cause of it. Explain that when people are stressed or unhappy with each other, it can turn little things into big arguments. They didn't create the stress, and any arguments over them were minor things that seemed bigger because they happened on top of all the other stress.
Of course, one of the primary reasons children revert to blaming themselves is because parents tend to keep other issues secretive. Children will spend every available moment thinking about and trying to make sense of what is happening in their lives. In the absence of other explanations, they'll form their own based on what they know, and that's the interactions between them and their parents.
2. Explaining why you're getting divorced
Children should be given some tangible reasons for the divorce, and this should be decided upon (and well-rehearsed) ahead of time. Here are some tips and guidelines for that: