Talking to Your Children About Divorce
If you and your spouse have made the difficult choice to get a divorce, one of the hardest steps will be to tell your children about this decision. Although it can be uncomfortable and frightening, it is necessary to help your children understand the complications so they can begin their healing process. Here are some tips on how to delicately address this conversation for the most positive outcome.
Have a Plan
You and your current spouse should agree to a plan on how to break the news to your children. In most circumstances, it is best not to divulge every detail, but give them enough information and leave opportunity to address concerns and answer questions.
Tell the Children Together
Before having the conversation, make sure you are on the same page about some of the basics that you can anticipate will come up in conversation, such as living situations, school, and vacations.
Do Not Blame Each Other
Make a rule that you will not blame the other parent for the dismantling of the marriage or disclose personal reasons for the divorce.
Give Them Support
Your children need your love and support, but they also need it from outside the home. If possible, bring their teachers and other support staff into the loop on what is happening at home. Additionally, provide plenty of space and time for them to spend with friends.
They are Loved
Reassure the children that both parents continue to love them deeply. Remind the children that both parents will continue to be active in their lives and are still their parents. Actively encourage the children to continue a strong relationship with the other parent.
Every child is unique and every custody battle will require its own factors to be considered. Make sure you are listening to their individual needs and helping them in the way only you, as their parent, know how. Additionally, make sure you are working with an experienced and competent child custody attorney who can answer your questions and ensure that the best interests of the children are made priority.
Additional Resources & Books for Talking to Your Kids & Teens About Divorce