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Discussing Your Divorce with the Kids
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to inform children about a divorce. While it is best if both parents discuss the upcoming divorce together, experts agree it is more about how the information is provided than who discusses it. Children will have questions and parents need to not only be prepared to break the news, but answer the questions as they arise.
Tips for Helping Children Cope with the Divorce
When it comes to discussing a divorce with children, most parents have a difficult time starting the conversation. To ensure the discussion is as easy as possible for all parties, parents should anticipate the tough questions their children are likely to ask and deal with their own anxieties beforehand.
To make the discussion easier, parents can:
Address Concerns About Changes – One of the biggest concerns on a child’s mind will be how the divorce changes their life, including aspects such as where each parent will live to how often they will see their parents. It is important that parents have a plan and discuss the options with their children as soon as possible.
Keep Up With Their Child – Despite the emotional stress of a divorce, parents should do everything in their power to keep up with their child’s day-to-day activities and care needs. Parents should not let the divorce affect how much attention they give to their children, because that will only make the divorce process worse for the child.
Avoid Blaming the Other Parent – Parents must not be critical of or pass blame to the other parent. Even if hurtful events occurred that led to the divorce, such as infidelity, parents do not need to place blame.
Be United – As much as they can, parents should agree to explain the divorce together and present a united front to children.
Plan Discussions Beforehand – Before answering questions or sitting down with the children, divorcing parents should discuss their plan for how they will present the information, what they will say, etc.
Keep Age in Mind – Younger children do not need as much detailed information as older children. Parents should keep the ages of their children in mind when creating a discussion plan.
Most importantly, parents should help their children express their feelings. Divorce often feels like the loss of a parent for children; therefore, parents should be available to listen, help them find the words to explain their feelings, and acknowledge those feelings. By doing so, the divorce may take less of a toll on everyone.
Speak with a Family Law Attorney to Explore Your Divorce Options
An amicable divorce can make the process easier on all family members. Meet with McMichen, Cinami & Demps today to explore your options for divorce. Our attorneys understand how difficult a divorce involving children can be, and we use our compassion and experience to help you and your spouse make the process as painless as possible.