How to explain to my children what is a joint custody
Explaining to the children the separation of their parents is not an easy task, due to the great affective load that the situation supposes. Here you will find some guidelines to carry it out. The main thing is that the couple is clear that they are the ones who are separated, not the children, who do not divorce their parents even if they stop living together. It is important to keep in mind that children are informed once the decision has been made, never before. In .com we give you all the suggestions so you know how to explain to your children what is a shared custody .
Present the break as a joint decision
It is not always easy, especially since on many occasions the decision comes only from one member, but it should be considered as a joint decision. It is better to offer only the most summary version possible: "dad and mom we are not going to live together anymore, we are going to be in different houses", without entering who has left who, or in the reasons for it. It is convenient to do it jointly, in turns, in a serene, respectful tone and showing certainty of the decision. Sometimes it is convenient to prepare for this moment to avoid affective expressions of crying, rage, etc. Children should be offered a neutral version, which provides security. If it can not be done together, then first one parent and then the other, but making sure to transmit the same message.
Do not report background conflicts
It is wrong to think that "the child must know the whole truth", since he is not an adult and is not prepared to assume it, no matter how small it may seem to us. It is reported that you will stop living together as a family, but not the reasons that led to that decision. Present the child with the information blaming the other parent (eg "your father no longer loves me, leaves us ...") does not contribute anything to the child, except emotional instability, and only serves to satisfy the need to attack our future ex-partner A better adjustment has been observed in minors who are informed of the separation as a joint decision and without presenting the reasons for the same.
Offer security elements
You have to convey the decision as firm and unmovable (it is supposed to be so, and that is why you are informed), that you have been thinking about time and it has been difficult to decide, but you are sure that it is the best. Next it is convenient to explain to them that they have not had anything to do with this decision to live apart, that it is not their fault. It is also necessary to inform who will leave the house and with whom they will live, as well as when they can see their other parent, since it is much more reassuring for them to know these points. Here it is convenient to remind him that he will continue to have a father and a mother even if they do not live together, and that he will have two houses: the house with his father and the house with his mother. It is not necessary to dramatize or show victim behaviors, as well as to make clear that there is no good and bad, no victims or guilty. It is also convenient not to lie or encourage fantasies, the messages of the type "dad is traveling" or "mom is visiting the grandmother a few days", only contribute to hinder acceptance and adaptation to the new family reality, in addition to creating a feeling of distrust towards adults.
You must say it a few days before the cessation of coexistence takes place, so that the child can assimilate it, but always when the decision has already been made, not before. And after a few days we have to let the children express their doubts, worries, feelings ... and answer the questions they ask. Here we can differentiate those that are referred to his person (where will I live ?, will I change school? ...), that must be answered sincerely to increase their security, of those that refer to their parents, where the child must be prevented from participating in the conflict that may exist, allowing you to have a healthy image of both the father and the mother, for their better psychic, social and academic development, (eg if you ask them if you do not live together because you do not want to, he knows if they want it or not, but it's better not to live together now)
- It is important to follow these recommendations so that our children do not feel insecure in front of the preparation
- The parents must assume the separation with maturity and not blame themselves in front of the children, this could be very harmful and make separation even more difficult for all