How to Tell Children About Divorce?
There is nothing fun about getting a divorce, even when you know it is the right thing to do. While divorce can be hard for you, it is just as difficult if not worse for your children. Chances are, you and your spouse have been hiding your marital issues from your children. Therefore, they believe everything is fine. Telling them you are getting a divorce can be a crushing body blow that comes out of nowhere.
Establish That It Is Not Their Fault
The most important message to convey is that your children are in no way to blame for your divorce. While you are fully aware it is not their fault, they are not. They may believe their constant fighting has led to their parents not wanting to be a family anymore. This idea must be discussed and debunked immediately. You may need to continually check in with your children to ensure this idea has not returned.
Mutually Agree Upon A Plan
Even if you and your spouse cannot agree on anything these days, you must put your personal differences aside here. It is vital that you are on the same page when planning to tell your children about your upcoming divorce and that you do so together. Agreeing on your message will help you avoid saying something you will regret or sharing information that a child does not need to hear.
Avoid Placing Blame
In some cases, divorce can be blamed on one person. Perhaps Mom had an affair, or Dad has gambling problems. However, placing blame when telling your kids will do nothing but make the process more difficult by placing them in the middle of your issues. Try using the word “we” as much as possible when explaining why you are getting divorced.
Explain What Will Change and What Will Stay The Same
It may take a while for your children to fully understand why their parents are no longer together. However, their immediate concern will turn to topics such as their living situation and routine. It is key to explain which parent is leaving the home and when they will get to see them. This is also the time to reinforce what parts of their daily routine will remain unchanged. It is all about keeping as much normalcy as possible during this difficult time.
Encourage Questions and Give Them Space
Once you are done with your talk, invite your children to ask questions. However, it is important not to pressure them. Some kids will ask a bunch of questions while others may choose to remain silent. Allow them to walk away and display any emotions they are feeling. It will be your job to continually check in on their well-being in the coming days and weeks.
Talk To A Divorce Expert
Children can make divorce incredibly complicated. Even if you and your spouse have a verbal custody agreement in place, we highly suggest consulting with one of our experienced divorce attorneys.
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