There’s certainly a lot to think about when contemplating divorce, including property division and spousal support. But before you even get to the point of negotiating these legal issues you’ll need to tackle what might be a monumental task: telling your children about divorce. Nobody likes to see their children hurt, and if improperly handled, breaking the news that mom and dad are separating can be a blow to their emotional stability.
So deciding how to tell your children about your decision to divorce can be an important step is setting the stage for their life moving forward. Here are some things to consider when the time comes to have this conversation:
- Be honest: Your children deserve to know the truth and you don’t want to confuse them or fill them with a false sense of hope. So when it comes to describing the reason for divorce, be short and to the point.
- Reassure them: This news is going to crushing in many instances, but you can lessen the blow by letting your children know that you still love them and will be there for them no matter what. You can tell them that you will be available for them whenever needed, and that you’re happy to answer any questions they might have. Although there will be many changes ahead, you and your children can get through it together.
- Don’t blame the other parent: As hurt as you may be, blaming the other parent will only create resentment and negatively impact your children’s relationship with that parent moving forward. It can also sow the seeds of confusion.
- Listen to your children: your children are going to feel a lot of different emotions. This is normal. Let them know that you’re willing to listen to whatever it is that they’re thinking. You can even help them describe how their feeling without putting words in their mouths. Encourage honesty at all times, and continue to reassure your children that they are not to blame for any part of the divorce.
There are other things you can do to lessen the impact of divorce on your children, too. Providing routine can help provide some normalcy to an otherwise chaotic time in their lives, and amicably working together with the other parent if at all possible can deflate tension around the children. Hopefully by heeding some of these tips you can successfully navigate this early step of the divorce process so that you can focus your attention on the other matters that await you.