There is no denying it. Children have a difficult time accepting the fact that their parents are getting a divorce. It is possible to help them through it, so it is less traumatizing. How this works depends on the parents themselves.
How Do We Tell the Kids About the Divorce?
The # 1 rule is that the parents need to be together when they tell the children about the divorce. You need to set aside your own anger, animosity, and other personal feelings and present a united front to the children. The kids will follow your lead. If you present it as a tragedy, they will view it as a tragedy. If you present it as a normal part of life that happens sometimes, they will view it that way as well.
Acknowledge that things are going to change, but that you will all get through it. Let them know that they had nothing to do with the divorce and that you both still love them. You are still their parents. You are now just going to have two different households. It may take some time, but you will all adjust.
A Non-Adversarial Divorce Process Benefits the Children
In a traditional adversarial litigated divorce, the spouses are pitted against each other. Each one wants to win. Court hearings are really arenas for fighting. This discord carries over and affects the children.
In non-adversarial processes such as Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, the goal is for the couple to get to the other side of their divorce as amicably as possible. These two approaches are designed to tamp down the anger and acrimony and focus on the future. It is a problem-solving process that helps the couple and helps the children.
In a Collaborative Divorce, there is a team of divorce professionals that help the couple solve the issues of their divorce case. Child specialists can be a part of the team that help the couple learn to co-parent as divorced parents while focusing on the best interests of the children.
The child specialists are coming from a neutral place. They make sure everyone is comfortable and that the best interest of the children is front and center. Sometimes, the parents will put a photo on the table in the conference room to remind them that the children are part of the process. The parents forget about going to war with each other and instead focus on their future and the future of their children.