It’s often hard enough to tell our spouse that we want a divorce, but how do we tell our kids? This is one of the toughest decisions a parent will ever have to make. Here are some things to consider when you’re trying to figure out how to tell your children that you’re getting divorced.
Tips for Telling Your Children You’re Getting a Divorce
The following are a few tips to help you and your spouse tell your children that you are getting divorced:
- The best way to tell your kids about your divorce is together, as a united front. Telling your kids about a divorce can be one of the most difficult things a parent has to do. It is important, however, that your children hear the news from both of you at the same time and not in broken pieces as they try to piece together what is happening. The best way to tell your kids about the divorce is together, as a united front. Letting them know that you both will remain devoted to them will help ease their worries during this transition. Not only does it provide an opportunity for you and your former partner to work together on providing the best possible outcome for your family, but it also helps children adjust more quickly to a new family dynamic.
- It's important to be honest with your kids about why you're getting divorced. Parental divorce can have a significant impact on a child's upbringing, and the way parents handle the situation greatly influences this outcome. Open communication and honesty within the family about why a divorce is taking place is essential in smoothing out any potential issues. Talking to your kids in an open and trusting environment allows them to understand their emotions and develop insight into their own personal ways of dealing with the situation. It also lets them know that they are deserving of honest communication from you as a parent, which will help build trust between you and them.
- Let your kids know that they are not responsible for the divorce and that it's not their fault. Divorce can be a difficult thing for everyone involved, especially young kids. It is important to make sure your children know that the divorce is not their fault and that they are not responsible. Letting them know this will help them process this difficult change in their lives and reduce any feelings of guilt they may have. It is important to emphasize that the decision was made because of differences between the parents, not because of anything the children did. Taking some time to explain this will allow your children to understand better and cope with these changes more easily.
- Reassure your kids that they will still have a family and that both parents will still be involved in their lives. Regardless of what your family looks like after any changes, your children will always have the love and support of both their parents. Everyone’s role may be different, but both you and your former partner will remain equally dedicated to making sure that your children grow up in a safe, loving environment. As long as you and your ex strive to lead by example, your kids will understand that you are taking positive steps to ensure their best interests are attended to, no matter what form that may take. No matter what happens within the family structure, your kids will never doubt that both of their parents want only the best for them and that they will always have a strong supportive family unit.
- Explain what will change and what will stay the same after the divorce. Divorce can be a very challenging and emotional experience, but it can also be the start of a new chapter in life. After the divorce, some things will stay the same while others will change. Continuing to live in the same home, or having to move out, is likely one of the changes that would need to be addressed. Financial obligations may be shifted or arranged differently. Relationships with extended family and friends might have to adjust as well. On the other hand, some things will remain unchanged, such as joint parenting responsibilities for any children affected by the divorce. Ultimately, to navigate the transition successfully, both parties must learn how to compromise and cooperate.
- Answer any questions your kids may have honestly and openly. As a parent, it's important to answer your child's questions honestly and openly. Children tend to pick up on their parents' feelings and emotions, so it is important to be honest rather than try to sugarcoat the truth. An honest and open dialogue about any topics that arise can help strengthen your family bond and foster trust with your kids.
At Arnold Law Group, APC, our family law attorneys have been helping clients with issues involving divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, and co-parenting for years. We have seen the toll that the divorce process can take on parents. That’s why our number one focus is always doing what’s in the best interests of our clients and their kids.