Even the most amicable split is world-changing for young children. Here are a few key tips for grown-ups trying to help their kids navigate this big transition.
- Give children as much heads-up as you can — as soon as you've made a definite decision to split up.
- It's a grown-up problem. Don't share details that will confuse your child or hurt your partner.
- Don't fear the big feelings or the "pajama truth-bomb." It's good for kids to talk about a separation — even when it may be painful for adults to hear.
- Make sure your kids know that not everything will change. Keep routines, and toys, consistent even if they're traveling from one home to another.
- Look back together on the good memories.
Resources: We spoke with Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for Social Impact at Sesame Workshop. She led the development of a toolkit for parents called Dealing with Divorce.
The American Psychological Association also offers a range of resources for adults struggling with the realities of divorce and separation.