Divorce is one of the most challenging aspects of the human experience. It's even more difficult for parents who have to explain to their children that Mommy and Daddy are parting ways. Many parents struggle to find the right way to tell their kids. However, the following tips can serve as a guide to having this difficult conversation.
Planning your talk
It is important to discuss what you're going to say, where you're going to say it, and when it's best to tell your children.
- You both love them.
Reinforce the idea that you both love your kids very much, that you will always love them and that in no way does your divorce have anything to do with them.
- No blame game
Your divorce may be ugly, it may be painful, but it is crucial to shield your marital problems from your kids. They will have more than enough to deal with during the divorce, so it's best to figure out a way to put your marital issues on hold while talking to your kids.
- Explain visitation
Make sure you have a visitation plan in place before talking to your kids. They will need to know that they will still have access to both parents.
Tell them together
If you are fortunate enough to be in the midst of an amicable split, this part will be easier for you. For those couples having a hard time being in the same room, it is imperative that you set your troubles aside to talk with your children together. This will reinforce the idea that you will both be there for the kids and that you both care enough about them to set aside your differences for their well-being.
Be open to questions
The news may be a shock for your kids or it may not, but they will inevitably have a lot of questions. Be honest with them but be careful to keep your marital issues out of the conversation. There are creative ways of answering the more probing questions but the best advice is to keep it vague, they don't need the added burdens of their parents' troubles.
As with all aspects of parenting, positive reinforcement is one of the best tools in the parental toolbox. Keep positive throughout the process. Let your kids knows that they are the most important people in both of your lives and that they always will be. This may be difficult when you're splitting time but that's why it is so important.
Telling your kids about your divorce will not be easy and it will not be fun. To make the legal aspect of your divorce go as smoothly as possible, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced attorney to help you through the divorce. The attorneys at Schepisi & McLaughlin, P.A. can work on your behalf to protect your rights and minimize the stress on your family.