How to handle telling your kids about divorce
Making the decision to divorce can be one of the toughest decisions you make in life. Besides figuring out what your post-divorce life will look like, you may also have to deal with the hardship of answering a multitude of questions from friends and family; including what went wrong, should you give the relationship one more try and whether you are going to move to another state.
But perhaps the toughest decision will be about how to inform your children. Indeed, kids generally know more than we think they know, but they may not understand the implications of the decisions their parents make. Because of this, parents must take great care in informing them about their upcoming divorce. The following tips can help.
Keep things civil – Telling kids about a divorce should not be an opportunity to blame or sandbag the other parent, despite their challenges. After all, the kids still have feelings for you both, even though they may be highly disappointed with you not being together.
Don’t make the kids choose between you – With many divorces, one parent will move out of the family home, while one parent stays. There may be a chance that the kids may want to stay with the parent who moves. However, this is not the time to make the child choose between you and the other parent.
Don’t block access – Your anger towards the other parent may fuel your desire to cut them out of your life, but you can’t cut them out of the children’s lives unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. Even then, a court should decide whether it is in the children’s best interests to spend time with the other parent. Until then, do not block the other parent’s access to the kids.