Talking about divorce can always be difficult. Talking about it with your children can seem unbearable. Our instinct with our children is to protect them and keep them happy.
Regardless of how uncomfortable the conversation may be, it is best to not delay the conversation and work as co-parents for a smooth transition to having parents in separate homes. Here are a few pointers to help!
- Tell your children about your divorce together. It is not uncommon for a child to blame one of the parents for the divorce – so creating a united front and explaining that you and your spouse made the choice to divorce together can avoid this from happening.
- Speak in terms that your child can understand. Your child may not understand what divorce is, so you’ll have to explain it to them in a way that they are able to comprehend. Books can also be helpful. Check out this great list of children’s books related to divorce.
- Keep the details at a minimum. Of course your children may want to know why you’ve decided to get a divorce, but they don’t need to know the nitty gritty details of the situation.
- One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make is telling a child something that can sour their relationship with their other parent. For example, if infidelity is a reason for divorce a child does not need to know this. This can lead to parental alienation and even if it is unintentional, it could significantly hurt your custody case should you have to litigate the issue.
- Try to control your emotions. Your divorce may be upsetting, and you may even be upset with your spouse, but be careful not to dump your feelings on your children. You want to maintain the relationship you have with your children and try not to disturb your spouse’s relationship with them as well.
- Allow your children to ask questions. They may want to know how their lives will be affected, so be sure to remain supportive and provide answers to them.