Speaking to your children about your impending divorce could be the toughest conversation you’d ever have with them. Even if your divorce won’t come as a surprise to them, maybe because you’re already living in different homes or have been continuously fighting, it is only natural for your kids to believe that their parents would be together forever.
But you need to do this, and you need to do it right because your kids would remember this conversation forever. And while there’s no easy way to tell them about the divorce, the following guidelines might help.
Communicate with Your Kids as a Team
Even if you have a less than amicable relationship with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, speak to your kids as a team by incorporating the term “we” when you’re explaining your decisions to your kids. Never show any bitterness or resentment to the other parent and don’t accuse each other in front of your kids. You need to make them understand and feel that you would try your best to work together when it comes to your kids.
Speak to Everyone in Your Family
Talk to all of your kids and then speak with each kid individually. However, if you are worried that one of your older kids is going to react negatively or if that kid’s reaction might trigger one of your younger kids, consider speaking with each separately, suggests an experienced family lawyer in Boulder, CO.
Make Sure You have a Plan
You have to plan what to say and list down key points that you think your kids need to understand. To start, consider the following points:
- What’s happening or what’s about to happen is not their fault. It is you and your spouse’s fault.
- Make them understand that you’ll love them no matter what and nothing will change that, especially not the divorce.
- Tell them that you and your spouse have tried fixing your problems but you can’t just work them out.
- Communicate to them that although you will no longer husband and wife once you’re divorced, you will always be their mommy and daddy.
- Reiterate that while many things would inevitably change, you would always be a family whatever happens.
You also need to be open and ready to answer any questions your kids might have, especially as the divorce proceedings progress. You need to be extra-sensitive and patient with your kids’ emotional cues and explain things that they might have a difficult time processing. Above all, keep in mind that this conversation is not about you and your spouse, but about your kids’ well being.