You may be considering a divorce or have just filed against your spouse to begin the divorce process. The next steps can be complicated and grueling, but sometimes the most emotional step you take is telling your children that their parents are getting a divorce. Here are 3 tips for how to have this conversation with your children.
1. Be Honest
Make no mistake, your children are very intelligent and are able to read a room and situation in the same way that an adult can. Because of this, it’s important to be honest with your children. Attempting to hide the divorce from your children not only sets your family up for failure, but also causes unnecessary damage and stress during the divorce process. Honesty is a major component when discussing divorce with children.
2. Approach the Discussion as a Parental Team
The divorce conversation requires teamwork between both parents. This means a conversation about telling the children what is going to happen between the parents before sitting down with them. A strategy should be put in place on how to address potential questions from the children and remember to keep their concerns at the top of your mind. An organized strategy will make it easier for the discussion.
3. Address the Child’s Concerns
Address the concerns of the child and talk about what fears they may have, including change. Be clear in communicating that one household is now becoming two, but that they will continue to have both parents in their lives. Answer their questions in a way the child will understand that he or she will still be loved by both parents and that the parents will consider the child’s wellbeing as a most important priority.
Divorce can be difficult, but it does not have to be devastating to your family. Planning and collaborating throughout the divorce process as much as possible allows for children to feel safe and cared for, even during this life-altering time in their lives.
If you need help in a divorce or family law matter, please contact Kim Mediation and Law and schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation.