Eight tips for talking to your children about your divorce

There are a lot of difficult aspects of divorce. Yet, while some people concern themselves with property division and alimony, others are primarily worried about how divorce will affect their children. In many instances, simply telling children about a pending marriage dissolution can be the single hardest part of the divorce process.

Talking to your children about divorce

But there are things that you can do to lessen the impact on your children. Here are a few tips that you can utilize to make sure that your children understand the reasoning behind your divorce and that they are reassured that you love them:

  1. Be honest with your children. Your children deserve to know why you and your spouse are getting divorced. This isn’t to say that you need to divulge every detail of your failed marriage, but you should give them enough information to allow them to contextualize the divorce.
  2. Reaffirm and reassure them. Divorce can hit children like a ton of bricks, leaving them questioning everything that once seemed secure. This includes your love for them. So, let them know that no matter what you’ll still love them and care about them.
  3. Be able to convey logistical changes. Your children thrive on stability and routine, but divorce threatens to upend that security. So, be ready to describe to your children how your divorce will affect their day-to-day lives.
  4. Listen to your children and be patient with them. They’ll have a lot going through their minds, and it may be difficult for them to convey their feelings. Let them be open and honest with you without a lot of negative repercussions. After all, you want them to feel safe and comfortable with you.
  5. Don’t talk poorly about your child’s other parent. Doing so could backfire on you and lead to resentment and a strained co-parenting relationship that is difficult to navigate.
  6. Don’t expect the conversation about your divorce to be wrapped up in one discussion. Your children are probably going to have ongoing questions that you need to be prepared to answer, and you shouldn’t get frustrated when they continue to bring up the issue
  7. Remind your children that they are in not, in any way, to blame for your marriage dissolution. The sad truth of the matter is that many children internalize divorce, finding just about any excuse they can to blame themselves. Try your best to not let your children do this, as it can cause a significant amount of emotional harm.
  8. Don’t lean on your children as an emotional support. We know that getting through a divorce can be tough. After all, you’ve got a lot of emotions that you’re dealing with, and you need your own support system. But using your children as an emotional crutch can put a lot of responsibility and stress on them. So, instead of turning to your children when you need to vent or find emotional support, talk to other family members, friends, or a therapist. Even exercising and eating healthily can help you cope.

Position yourself for a successful divorce

We know that navigating the divorce process can be stressful. But with some planning and knowledge of what to expect, you can prepare yourself for the successful outcome that you and your family deserve. If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, then please consider discussing the facts of your case with an attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law.

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