How To Tell Your Children About Your Plan To Divorce

How To Tell Your Children About Your Plan To Divorce

How To Tell Your Children About Your Plan To Divorce

Talking to your children about your plans to separate or divorce is likely one of the most challenging and painful conversations you will ever have. It is essential to discuss the situation with your children before hearing it from someone else. This conversation is likely to be burned into your children's memory forever, so it is best to prepare how you will talk to them about it. Experts offer these tips for talking to your children about a plan for separation or divorce:

Plan the conversation.

Working with your spouse to determine how and when to tell kids about your plan for separation and divorce can protect them from anger and hurt. It is essential to avoid special occasions and holidays when revealing your plans for divorce. Try talking to them about it on a day that will allow for family time together, like a weekend. Never tell them right before bedtime or school. You can work out the details with the help of a divorce coach, counselor, or mediator if it is difficult for you and your spouse to agree on the situation. Contact a divorce attorney in Orlando after exhausting all other options if your spouse refuses to work with you on communicating with the kids.

Tell your children together.

Even though this may be difficult, working as a united front to tell your kids about a divorce shows them your commitment to working together as their parents. You also want your children to hear the news firsthand, not from someone outside of the family or the sibling who heard the news first. Sharing basic information with all your children can be helpful if you have children of different ages. Following up with separate conversations with your older children later will help keep everyone in the family informed. It's essential to seek help developing your plan to reveal the divorce to your children if you cannot do it with your spouse because of safety or conflict concerns. You may also want to talk with a divorce attorney in Orlando to help navigate the process when communicating with your spouse is dangerous.

Avoid placing the blame.

Talking to your children about divorce is difficult. It is essential to avoid blaming anyone for the divorce. It is unhealthy for children to be caught in the middle of two parents. Providing the reassurance and support that your children need is more important than them knowing the truth. When explaining your decision to divorce, it is essential to try to use “we” as often as possible. For example, “We have tried to fix our problems, but we haven't been able to,” or “We both want to stop arguing,” or “We aren't happy together.”

Explain to them what will change and what will stay the same.

The most pressing thing your kids will want to know is how the divorce will affect their daily lives. They will want to know what will change about their lives, who they're going to live with, and where they will live. Being honest about everything you know and everything you don't know will help prepare your children for the upcoming changes. Reassurance about things that will stay the same, like sports, friends, school, or other activities, can help ease their minds. Finally, don't forget to let them know that your love for them will not ever change.

Let your kids know which parent will be leaving the home.

The more you can tell your children about where the departing parent will live and how they will be able to see each other, the better. You and your spouse must reassure them that they can maintain a relationship with both of their parents, even when they're not living in the same house.

Focus on reassurance.

Even if they don't talk about it, your children need reassurance that the divorce is not their fault. Be sure to stress that nothing they have done could have prevented or caused what is happening. Be careful not to make promises that you cannot keep since there are many unknowns at the beginning of a separation. Unless you are confident, do not promise that they'll never have to move or that they'll still be able to go away to camp for the summer. It is paramount to focus on assurances that you know you can follow through with, like, “you still get to have birthdays and Christmases,” or “You will still be going to the same school.” It is key to reassuring them that everyone will be okay after getting used to new arrangements, even though things may be difficult for a while.

Do not judge your children's reactions.

The news of divorce will change your children's lives whether they expected it or not. Try to be empathetic no matter what reaction they have, whether they are angry, crying, or have no reaction at all. Many times, children are not able to express intense emotions easily. They may shut down or be overwhelmed, and expressing their feelings about the situation may take some time. Your children are more likely to feel like everything will be okay if you talk with them calmly. However, they can also be given the impression that it's okay for them to have feelings, too, if they see you crying or upset. Always have enough control over your emotions to ensure that your children do not feel like they have to care for you. It is vital to reassure them that everyone in your family will eventually adjust to the changes and heal.

Let them ask questions.

Some children will have many questions, while others will not want to talk about things right away. Be as honest and transparent in your responses as possible, and when you don't know the answer to their question, reassure them that you will let them know as soon as you figure it out. Though this is the first conversation you will have with your children about your separation, it will undoubtedly come up periodically over time. It is necessary to let them know that you're open to answering their questions whenever they come up. Always keep them out of financial and legal issues as you move forward with your separation.

Give them time to adjust.

Divorce is a huge change, and it will take you and your children time to adjust to the thought of your future. Likewise, it will likely take time for them to adjust to the news you presented to them. It is important to be reassuring and emotionally present for them until they can make the needed adjustments. You can help them heal and adapt by modeling your own recovery and healing for them to see.

Navigating the changes that come with divorce is challenging for children. However, open communication and healthy self-expression are necessary to make the situation manageable.

To Top