Ep4 ~ How to tell your children about your separation and supporting them in the days ahead

I know that so many parents don’t want to do it, but it’s so important to sit down with your children and have “the separation talk”.
This is a very practical episode – a list of dos and don'ts - based on my guest’s deep knowledge of child and adolescent development.

You’ll hear my guest, Dr Rachael Sharman, PhD, talk about:

  • Why this conversation is so necessary
  • What all children need to hear, as well as what information is appropriate at different ages
  • How to answers some of the questions your children may ask
  • Being prepared for a wide range of reactions and possible pushback, particularly from teenagers
  • The importance of checking in with your children after the talk, more than once, to make sure they have absorbed what you’ve told them
  • How you can support children in the days immediately after the talk and in the longer term…
... and so many other suggestions from Dr Sharman, senior lecturer and researcher in psychology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, who says: “It is absolutely a necessity. It is a true necessity this conversation. If you just leave the kids trying to figure it out themselves, what’s going on, they’ll never forgive you for that. As hard as it is, you will have to step up to the plate and have the conversation and do your best to hold yourself together during that time, answer questions, keep checking in. Keep them front in centre for the first few days even though that is really hard because you’ve got your own emotions and your own difficulties that you are trying to deal with, but try to keep those kids front and centre so they have time to grieve the loss of their old family unit and start to understand that there will be a new one that’s being formed.”