Separation Plan for Telling Your Children - Parent Connection
Preparation worksheet for telling the children
Use this worksheet as a prompter to plan how to tell the children about your separation. You can complete it together or separately and then compare notes.
When is the best time? Consider a time when you can be around to answer questions over the following few days. Things to think about – do you have a date for when the physical separation will happen? When will all the family be together?
What will the immediate impact on the children be? For example, what will the physical separation involve? Will they have to move house or school? Will the childcare arrangements stay the same? Can they keep their pets? Things to think about - Try to see things from the children’s point of view.
How will you explain the decision so that they will understand? Things to think about- Remember that children are not interested in fault or blame and do not want to hear either parent being criticised.
What will help your children feel secure that they are not losing one parent? Things to think about - Making a plan with the other parent about what ‘parenting time’ arrangements will be in place immediately after you separate.
Are you prepared to deal with the reactions? Remember that it is normal for children to be upset. You can’t stop them from being hurt but you can comfort them. Things to think about - What if they say nothing? Cry? Become angry?
Think about how you can keep the communication open over the next few days and weeks. Let them know it is ok to ask you anything but don’t badger them into talking if they don’t want to. Things to think about – be prepared for children to ask the same questions over and over again.
Who else needs to know? Things to think about- Children often find support outside the family, for example, a trusted aunt or a school teacher.
Follow this link for further information on children in the middle whilst separating