One of the most difficult things parents who are getting a divorce must do is tell their children. It is important to explain to the children that despite their parents living in two homes, they will still be a family. Their family is just changing the way in which they live.
Tips for How to Tell the Kids About the Divorce
- Tell the children together. Most experts strongly suggest that, if possible, the parents meet with the children together. They present a unified message to the children and tell them, “We both will always love you very much. We are doing this because we both believe that it is best for our family.” If the children are in therapy, it may be good for the parents to tell the children in the presence of the therapist, either in an individual or a group session, depending on the needs of each child.
- Make it clear to the children the divorce is not their fault. It is important to emphasize to the children that this decision has nothing to do with them. They are in no way responsible for the divorce and their parents are doing what they believe is best for everyone.
- Do not talk negatively about the other parent. If one parent bashes the other parent to the children, it can be very damaging. The children are a combination of mom and dad. If mom or dad is a horrible, awful person, then the child may think he or she is also a horrible, awful person.
- Show respect for the other parent. When children see parents interacting with each other with respect, instead of fighting and demeaning each other, it goes a long way in helping the children deal with the divorce.
What Children Want to Know
When a child is told that his or her parents are getting divorced, in addition to initially wondering if the divorce is their fault, there are questions almost all children want answers to:
- Will I have to move?
- Which parent will I live with?
- Will I have to change schools?
- What about my dance class, music lessons, etc. – Will I get to continue?
- Will I still see my friends?
Basically, children want to know how the divorce is going to affect their daily lives. Some of those questions may not have answers yet. Just let the children know that as soon as you are able to answer those questions, you will let them know.
For assistance with talking about your divorce with your children, or any other aspect of your divorce process, contact us at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions.