How To Talk To Kids About Divorce
Divorce can be hard on children because of the changes that will be in their life and the stress that you and your significant other will have. When sitting down with your child, it is important to be calm and tell them as much as you can.
When you sit down with you children, tell them why you are getting divorce. Don’t tell them a big story if they are younger because they might get confused. Tell them something along the lines of you are not getting along anymore and that it is sometimes normal for parents not to get along.
Make sure you are telling your kids that you love them and that nothing you and your significant other are going through has anything to do with them. Tell them that there will be things changing in their lives but some things will be the same. They will still have their family and their love but they will live at mom’s house and at dad’s house.
Agree, Plan, Respect
Both you and your spouse should sit down with your kids to explain what’s going to happen, but before you do you should agree on how you are going to tell them and what you are going to tell them. Plan the conversation out so you both know what you are going to say and address any possible questions your kids may have.
While you are talking to your children, be respectful to each other. Even though you may not be on the best of terms with your spouse, it is important to remain calm with each other in front of your kids so they don’t feel the stress. Don’t start blaming each other for the divorce.
Listen, Help, Acknowledge
When you tell your kids about the divorce, let them voice their opinions and voice their feelings. Listen to them and reassure them in any way you can. If they don’t seem to know how to feel or what to say, try to help them find the words by figuring out their mood or attitude.
When they are talking, let them be completely honest even if it is harsh on you. Listen to them and acknowledge everything they say to you. They may or may not be old enough to completely understand, but they could say a lot that will help you deal with the rest of your divorce.
It is important to tell your children as much of the truth as you think they can handle. If there is any adultery in the marriage, your children may not need to know that information depending on how old they are, so tell them that you and your spouse are unhappy in the marriage and just need to live apart now. Reassure them that they will still have things in their life that will be the same while others are different. If you plan to share custody, a good way to relive their anxiety, is to tell them that they will have double of everything like their room and birthday parties.