How to Talk to Your Children about Divorce
When there are children involved in a divorce, it can make the process even more difficult and emotional. It is important for the divorcing parents to unite in their effort to explain the divorce to their children and help them understand what it means for them. Below are a few tips to follow in protecting your children and helping minimize the impact of the divorce on them:
- Minimize conflict. Even though you and your spouse are ending your marriage, it is imperative that you avoid fighting in front of your children. If the divorce is bitter, try to let your attorneys do the “fighting” and negotiating for you. Whatever you do, avoid criticizing or blaming the other parent.
- Maintain a schedule. Keeping the disruptions to your children’s’ schedule to a minimum is important. Children find comfort in knowing what to expect and staying on a routine. When changes are necessary, be clear with them on how it will impact their lives.
- Be involved. Both parents should be present when the children are told about the divorce. It is important to present a united front and for both of you to answer their questions. You should focus on the fact that the divorce is not their fault and that your love for them is unchanging.
- Explain what to expect. Your children should be informed on how the divorce will impact their lives. In other words, outline what will change and what will not. Remember, children are pretty flexible and can adapt fairly quickly, so knowing what to expect will help them make the transition.
Obviously, the age of your children will influence how your discussions are handled. Younger children should be provided simple and straightforward explanations. Older children will understand more and they will likely ask more questions. Be honest and do not blame or criticize the other parent. Whatever the age of your children, it is imperative that they understand the divorce is not the result of anything that they did or did not do.
Finally, if your children start exhibiting abnormal behaviors or showing signs of stress from the divorce, get counseling for you and your children.
If you need assistance with your divorce, contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today. Our approach to family law is quite simple: we listen to you; we return your calls promptly; we keep you prepared and informed; we respect your time; we understand your concerns; and, most importantly, we care.