Christina McGhee is a divorce parenting expert. Over the years she has appeared on TV, radio, and you can find her online too.
Although you have separated you will continue to co-parent for the rest of your lives. Talking to your children about your separation is the first step in parenting apart.
“You can’t take the hurt away. It is going to be hard. How you handle the hard parts is what makes a huge difference for your kids.” Christina McGhee
Christina suggests you consider:
First and foremost, you don’t want to prematurely tell your children you are divorcing.
Instead, have a plan - be thoughtful about what you say and when you plan to say it.
Think about telling your children you are only separating and then tell them you are getting a divorce at some point in the future
Be prepared for a series of conversations, this is unlikely to be a one-off
Think in advance about what you will say - what kind of information you do and don’t provide.
Make a distinction to your children between romantic love and love for your children as this is important. For example, feelings for your ex may change but your love for your children will never change.
As a parent, you need to responsibly manage your emotions. This will be hard for everyone. Have a plan for what to do if you become upset.
Try not to share your version of the truth with your children. You can mitigate this action by putting your children at the centre of the conversation.
For more helpful advice from Christina please see her website.
At Pax Mediation, parents enter into mediation at many different stages of their separation and divorce; from having separated a few weeks ago through to having separated many years previously, but the issues identified above can resonate for a very long time in the life of each member of the family. Many parents choose to use mediation to have the discussions they need to have to make decisions together around their children’s welfare including how to tell their children they are getting a divorce.
For more information about mediation please visit our website, or call us on 0800 058 4303