DIVORCE: HOW SHOULD YOU TELL THE KIDS?
Almost every household has felt the impact of divorce in some way. Most adults have either been divorced or know someone who has. If you’re considering divorce yourself, you may be a bit worried about how your children will react to the news when you tell them. You’re definitely not the only parent with these concerns.
Undoubtedly, one of your main priorities is to provide as much support and as many resources for your children as you can to help them come to terms with the situation and begin moving forward to a happy, healthy life after the divorce.
Some things you may want to avoid
Every situation is different, but it’s often best to talk to your children a little at a time rather than in one big discussion. Maybe you can have weekly family meetings for a while until everyone is comfortable with what they know and are ready for the life changes ahead. The following list includes things to steer clear of during those conversations:
- Bad-mouthing your ex
- Fabricating stories to avoid the truth
- Trying to get your children to be mad at their other parent
- Burdening them with adult problems
- Not being clear enough so that they wind up feeling like they’re to blame
You will obviously be dealing with your own emotions, and it’s understandable that frustration or anger may be part of that; however, the last thing your kids need is to witness their parents speaking negatively about each other. Your kids will stand a much better chance of successfully adapting to their new lifestyle if they know they are free to show love and loyalty to both parents.
If you feel that your conversations aren’t going so well, you can reach out for support from a trusted friend or family member, or even a licensed counselor.
No need to go it alone
There are many local resources to help families cope with divorce. Maybe one of your kids will want to go to a support group but another won’t. You can customize a plan that helps each of you in the ways you need most. Asking your kids for suggestions can be a great way to get the ball rolling. Their creative and innovative answers might surprise you!