How to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it’s particularly difficult on children. It destabilizes their lives and forces them to think about their culpability. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance the parents have an honest talk with their children about the divorce.
But before that, you have to talk to each other. You have to decide on the ‘why’ and ‘what now.’ Once you are ready, keep these pointers in mind about how to talk to your kids about divorce.
Parents find it is very helpful to let the children know, as the parent, they will be happier. And as a happier person, they will be able to be a better parent. This provides children with a benefit in the situation.
- Tell them it’s not their fault
Explicitly, but gently, both of you have to convey that it’s not their fault. You have to reassure them that what you are doing is in the best interests of everyone, especially them.
- Don’t indulge in a blame game
Importantly, you will have to decide to not blame each other in front of the children. Present a unified front and present the plans going forward.
- Explain what will change and what won’t change
You will have to talk to each other and agree on the modalities beforehand. Then, explain things that will change, such as who will be moving out. Take time to also explain what won’t change, like your love for them.
- Invite questions
Encourage them to ask questions. But do realize that they could be in a state of shock. It may take time, and the questions may be accusatory in nature. Both of you will have to listen with empathy and answer as honestly as possible.
It’s one of the toughest conversations you will ever have with your children. You have to be honest, sensitive, and try to see it from their point of view. If it seems challenging, reach out to experienced divorce mediators to help your children understand the situation and what it means for them.
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