Talking about divorce is difficult for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging to discuss it with your children. Regardless of the age of your children, they face tough changes and complicated emotions that can be hard for them to deal with. As a parent, discussing divorce with your children honestly and compassionately is vital. Approaching the conversation can be scary. Here are some tips from the attorneys at BTR Law to help you discuss divorce with your children.
Tell the Truth
Be honest with your kids about the divorce. They likely have many questions, so giving them a simple, direct answer to understand why it is happening can help them.
Give Them Reassurance
Saying “I love you” during the conversation can help remind your kids that your relationship with them hasn’t changed and that you love them just as much as you did.
Be Age Appropriate
Try to be age aware when approaching the conversation. Younger kids may need less explanation than teenage children do. Even adult-aged children can have a hard time with the divorce and need reassurance and an honest explanation.
Even in the face of a particularly fraught divorce, restraining from placing blame will help your children. Providing a united front and showing respect for your spouse can help your children understand and cope with the changes. It’s also important to avoid venting to your child about the relationship, regardless of age.
With a divorce, changes are unavoidable. Discussing these changes with your children can help them prepare for the differences and ensure they aren’t blindsided later. Highlighting what won’t change, including emotional support, can also help your children prepare for divorce.
Make Talking About Divorce an Ongoing Discussion
After an initial conversation, having other honest discussions about the divorce can help your children through it and open a space of honesty with them to share their feelings.
One of the most important things to do in the conversation is to listen to your children. Their emotions are just as important, so giving them the space to express their feelings can help them cope. If younger children don’t have the words to express their emotions, you can also help them find the words for their feelings and make them feel heard.
Seek Legal Help if You Are Getting a Divorce
Divorce is difficult, even more so when you have children. It affects everyone in unique ways, and it can be hard to navigate the process. If you are getting a divorce, having an experienced legal team like BTR Law on your side who can walk you through each step of the process can help you and your family have the time for honest conversations.