Whether your relationship lasted two months or two years, you feel a sense of loss when it’s over. This is especially the case when there are kids in the mix. When you’re a single mom your kids experience your break up as well. Your former partner won’t be in their lives as much – or at all. This can make things more difficult.
To soften the blow, here are tips on how to tell your kids your relationship is over.
Make sure it’s really, really over.
Make-ups to break-ups: we all know this happens. Before you jump the gun and tell your kid(s) that your relationship is over, make sure this is a real break up. Kids shouldn’t have to go through the emotional roller coaster of an off-and-on relationship. Until you know that it’s DONE, don’t involve them in the drama.
Wait a little while.
After your breakup, wait a few days or maybe even a few weeks before letting your child know. Little by little he or she will get used to not having your significant other around, and they won’t feel the break up as hard. This also gives you some time to really heal.
Explain what happened with limited detail.
Kids are very intelligent; I don’t think people give them enough credit. All they really want is their parents to be happy and to be part of a loving family. This can be just you and your child(ren) or you, your kid(s) and your partner. So explain what happened and tell them it’s over. Just keep the gory details of your break up to yourself. Side note: if your kid is old enough, explain that you aren’t taking away someone they have grown to love.
Try being amicable.
If you had a really great relationship, but things just didn’t work out, be amicable for the sake of your kid(s). Kids develop their own bond and relationship with your partner; don’t be so quick to take that away from them, especially if it was a long-term relationship. Be open to the idea that your child might want to have some sort of friendship with your ex – and try to be OK with that fact. Otherwise you’ll make an already difficult situation much more challenging.