How to Talk to Your Children About Divorce
Going through a divorce is bad enough for adults. If you have children, imagine how they must feel. They may not know all the details about why their parents are splitting up, but it’s no doubt causing them emotional distress. Their lives are about to be upended.
Your children likely have a lot of questions and concerns about their future. Where will they live? Can they stay in the same school?
As a parent, you may not know how to respond. Do you tell children the truth? Do you try to cover it all up and pretend everything is fine? Here are some tips for talking to your children about divorce.
Keep it Simple
There’s no need to go into details about your divorce, especially if your children are young. They likely won’t understand, so keep it simple and calm. Parents should ideally discuss the situation with the children together, as a team. For example, you could say something like “We have decided that we do not want to stay married anymore. It has absolutely nothing to do with you.” Make it clear that you love your children and they are not to blame.
Make Points Clear
There can be a lot of confusion during this time, so it may be helpful to make some points clear. For example, you can state that your children will now have two homes. While their parents may no longer be together, Mom and Dad still love them and will continue to be a part of their lives.
Answer Your Child’s Questions
Your child will likely have some questions about what happens next. Children favor routine and may be stressed that their everyday lives will be disrupted. Be sure to answer their questions honestly. They may ask if the divorce is their fault. Will they have to move or change schools? How often will they get to see each parent? Invite your children to be open about their feelings and ask questions.
Avoid Blaming and Arguing
It may be difficult, but try to keep things positive. Present a united front to your children. Avoid badmouthing your spouse or arguing with them. Your children may feel as though they need to take sides. Plus, this causes even more stress. Also, avoid blaming each other. It doesn’t matter who caused the divorce. Show some restraint, especially in front of the children. They may feel bad and even think they are to blame, which is something you definitely want to avoid.
Seek Legal Help
Divorce can be extremely difficult when children are involved. Discussing the situation with them can also be a challenge, especially when the child is young and doesn’t understand what is happening.
Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can guide you through the process of ending your marriage. We’ll help you and your family move on with ease. To schedule a consultation, call 954-764-4330 or fill out the online form.