Talking to Your Kids About Divorce
You and your spouse have made the decision to divorce. It was probably a topic that you two have discussed many times. Maybe you have tried to work things out, but you two ultimately decide to part ways.
Now it’s time to tell the children. This can be a challenge no matter how well you communicate with your child. They may have some idea that their parents do not get along. Or maybe they have no idea at all. That’s why it’s important to have an honest discussion with them. After all, their lives are about to change.
But how do you approach the subject? You can’t ignore things for too long, so the sooner, the better. Here are some tips to help you break the ice.
Discuss Divorce at The Right Time
You don’t want to tell the kids you’re splitting up the day before you move out. Give them some time to process the divorce. Aim for at least two weeks before any type of separation takes place.
Talk in a Quiet Space
Discuss the divorce without distractions. You should be focused on the matter at hand. Therefore, wait until the weekend to talk. Don’t do it during the week when your child may be focused on schoolwork and after school activities.
Have a Plan
Plans can change, but be prepared to answer your kids’ questions about the divorce. Will they have to move? Can they keep going to the same school? How will their activities change? Will they still get to see their friends? Try to reassure them that there will be some stability in place.
Assure Your Children They’re Not to Blame
Many children take divorce personally. They may think that their parents are splitting up because of something they did. Reassure them that this is not the case. You should also avoid blaming the other spouse. It’s not a good idea for your children to favor one parent over the other. They should feel free to love you both as they desire. In fact, parental alienation is harmful and could cause you to lose custody.
Have Your Children Discuss Their Feelings
Your children may be sad and angry at first, but they will accept the situation over time. Some children may even be relieved that their parents will no longer fight. These feelings can change. Check in with your child regularly to discuss how they are feeling. Reassure them that these feelings are normal and that you will get through them together.
Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today
Parents are not the only ones who suffer extreme emotional distress after a divorce. Children suffer, too, and it is important for parents to help their kids express their feelings.
The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you deal with the various aspects of divorce. We can provide you with resources to help you and your children move on after divorce. Schedule a consultation today. Call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.