How to Tackle the Biggest Divorce Challenge: Telling Your Children About Divorce
Telling your children about divorce is one of the most difficult situations to be put in; the hardest part is initially breaking the news of divorce to your children.
Follow the 5 tips below on telling your children about divorce
- Carefully determine what you will say to your children: it is essential to prepare for the divorce conversation prior to having it with your children. Get out your notebook or laptop and write your thoughts out so you can visually see them. Once you have gotten all of your thoughts on paper or a notepad on your computer, determine what the most important key points are and make a separate list. Make sure that you can create a script that also produces a nurturing environment for your children. Anticipate what questions your children may have and write down all possible scenarios with possible answers.
- Convey that the divorce has nothing to do with them: this is one of the most important things that you can communicate with your children. Children (especially young children), often think that they did something to cause the divorce or break up the family; this is why it is so essential to ask your children how they are feeling and ensure that they do not have any feelings of self-blame.
- Be prepared for any type of reaction from your children: sometimes children will show their reactions immediately, and sometimes, children may display a delayed reaction; it is important to recognize delayed reactions when they do happen. If you notice your children acting out or becoming distant or appearing depressed, it is best to sit down with your children and have a talk. Once you can get to the bottom of their emotions and feelings, you need to determine if this is something you can help them get through or if you need to get professional help. Do not hesitate to take your children to a therapist or counselor if necessary.
- Don’t shock your children: if your children are old enough to understand that there may be an existing issue with your marriage, then you can be upfront with them, however; if your children are either too young to understand or have no idea that your marriage is on the rocks, it is best to give some idea prior to having “the divorce” discussion. Children are more likely to handle it better if they have some idea that there is already a problem.
- Provide reassurance: reassure your children that you love them and that they will always come first and that the marriage not working out has nothing to do with them. Let them know that they will still get to see both parents and that if there will be a change in where they reside that you will do your best to communicate that to them in advance and take their preferences into consideration.
Telling Your Children About Divorce is Never Easy
If you need assistance in any divorce matters that involve your children (such as coming up with a child custody arrangement that puts your children first), contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.