Talking to Your Kids About Divorce
For many divorcing parents, breaking the news to the kids is one of the most difficult steps in the process. These tips may help you avoid some of the most common missteps that parents make when talking to their children about Divorce Practice.
Don't Share Too Much
While your kids deserve some explanation of why you and your spouse have decided to divorce, be careful not to burden them with too much information. Confiding in your children about the adult details of your divorce can cause them unnecessary stress and may make them feel torn between you and the other parent. Protect them from these harmful emotions by only discussing the details of your divorce with other adults, out of earshot of your children. Similarly, avoid worrying aloud in front of the kids about your other divorce-related concerns, such as uncertainties about your financial future or housing situation.
Let Them Know It's Not Their Fault
To an adult, it may be hard to imagine why children would blame themselves for their parents' divorce, but don't make the mistake of assuming your kids know it's not their fault. Reassure them early and often that the divorce is between you and the other parent - not because of them or anything they did.
Don't Blame the Other Parent, Either
As much as you may feel that your soon-to-be-ex is at fault for the divorce (or anything else) be careful how to you talk about him or her in front of your kids. While it is entirely reasonable for you to feel the need to vent about your spouse, don't badmouth him or her in front of your children. This can be confusing for them and may damage their relationships with both you and the other parent. Instead, take a load off with your friends or a therapist when the kids aren't around.
Even after the divorce, you and your ex-spouse will still need to work together to raise your children, so do your best cooperate and work together as a team where the kids are concerned. At the very least, this should mean not fighting in front of the children. Ideally, however, it also means creating a parenting alliance with your ex to help provide consistency, stability and reassurance for your children during and after the divorce. For help resolving your divorce amicably, contact a lawyer with experience in divorce mediation.