There could be no other painless way to go about it. A parent would just have to tell his children as gently and honestly as he possibly could. Children react to the news of separation with a range of emotions. They will surely feel hurt and grief. Some will be confused and shocked. Almost all of them will fantasize about their parents getting back together.
The reactions of children will usually depend on their age, level of maturity and understanding, and how you are also coping yourself. Children may be unduly affected by what you are feeling that is why psychologists recommend that parents should not make their children their confidants during this time. Parents should not unburden their pains to their children. That would not be in their best interest which is mandated by the Family Law Act.
During the separation and its aftermath parents should put the interests of their children above their own. Regardless of a parent’s feelings towards the other parent, the child should be encouraged to maintain a positive relationship towards both of his parents. This is in accordance with the shared parental responsibility principle required by the Family Law Act. In the absence of family violence or abuse a child should spend equal time with both of his parents.
In this difficult time children need the care and support of both his parents. It would not be good for the child to be suddenly uprooted from his usual living arrangements and activities. This is why the Family Law Act prohibits relocating a child without the other parent’s consent.
A child has the right to spend time with his parent in the same way that a parent has the right to be with his child. In fact, it is even possible for parties to be separated but still live under one roof. Many separating parents do this for the sake of their children.
Children sometimes blame themselves for the separation. They may not say it in so many words but a concerned parent must always take measures to assure his child that he is blameless. A child must be assured constantly that though his parents will be separating they will both continue to love and care for him.