How to Tell Your Kids About Your Divorce
After learning of their parents’ divorce, many children feel angry, depressed, or even responsible for the dissolution. In order to minimize the negative impact of this news, approach the subject prepared. Continue reading for tips on telling your kids about your divorce.
Tip #1: Plan It Out.
Take a moment to write out and plan exactly what you want to say. You can provide as much or as little information as you’d like, but keep in mind that your children will probably ask questions about whatever you don’t address.
If you and your spouse are amicable, find a way to present the news together. Plan out what to say and who is going to say it. If you and your spouse are not comfortable having the conversation together, having a premade plan, or rules of what not to say, can help alleviate some of your anxiety.
Tip #2: Give Yourself Enough Time.
This talk is not something you should rush through, so make sure to set aside a decent amount of time for the entire conversation. Remember, you should have enough time for you (and possibly your spouse) to explain what is happening and how the divorce will affect day-to-day life. Make sure to give your child time to comment and/or ask questions. After all, your dissolution affects them, too.
Tip #3: Answer All of Their Questions.
Depending on their age, your child may not completely understand the “how” or “why” of the situation. When they ask questions, be patient. Take the time to explain it in a way they will understand, and reiterate that you/your spouse does not love them any less.
Tip #4: Be Honest.
Parents have a natural tendency to protect their children. Doing this during a divorce, however, can leave a child frustrated, confused, and feeling alone.
Be clear and honest about your dissolution. Explain how it will affect the child’s immediate life. For example, you will need to explain how one parent will be moving out. As they are processing a difficult concept, your child may continue to ask questions long after the conversation has ended. Make sure to address their concerns with patience and kindness.
Tip #5: Maintain Daily Routines.
One of your child’s biggest worries will be how the divorce affects them, so make sure to continue their daily routines. If possible, keep them in the same school. Take them to the same extracurricular activities. Cook the same meals. Consistency will make the divorce feel like less of a change, which, in turn, makes the adjustment easier for everyone.
Tip #6: Remember, Your Child Is a Child.
This may seem like a silly concept, but it is something parents tend to forget. Your child is seeing their parents separate and may not completely understand why. They may feel like they have to choose sides, or that they are the reason for the divorce.
No matter the circumstances of your dissolution, you should never make your child pick between you or your spouse. Do not make your child feel uncomfortable by saying mean or degrading things about your spouse. Do not explicitly blame your spouse, or your child, for the dissolution.
Contact The Clark Law Firm to Discuss Your Divorce Case – (817) 435-4970.
If you have children and are pursuing a divorce, you will need the help of an experienced attorney. Contact our family lawyers at The Clark Law Firm. We have more than 35 years of combined experience in family law and have the knowledge and tools to help you through your dissolution. Whether you need help establishing a visitation agreement or need help negotiating child support, our Fort Worth attorneys can help.
Call our Fort Worth family lawyers today at The Clark Law Firm: (817) 435-4970. We offer free consultations.