Divorce can be a challenging topic to address, even when it’s just between you and your spouse. It can be even more difficult when you have to discuss it with your kids. That first talk with them usually involves telling them about the impending divorce, which can shatter what they may have perceived as a great home life. This threat to their stability can be frightening for children, which is why you need to handle these discussions delicately.
To do so, you might want to consider a number of things such as the following:
- Honesty is key: Your child deserves to know the truth. If you try to mislead your children, you might end up filling them with false hope and a false sense of reality.
- Reassure them: Your children are going to exhibit a wide array of emotions. This is normal. Let them know that they are free to express how they feel and can talk to you about the divorce at anytime. You can acknowledge that a lot of things are going to change, but try to focus on the things that won’t change. Also, don’t forget to tell your children that you love them no matter what.
- Don’t place blame: Try to work with your spouse to avoid blaming each other when discussing divorce with your children. Shifting blame just creates negativity and can damage your child’s relationship with you and your spouse. Since children oftentimes shoulder the blame for these types of situations, reassure them that they aren’t at fault, either.
- Focus on routine: Children thrive on routine. Try to establish one so that your children can find some sense of normalcy and stability as everything else around them changes.
Of course, breaking the news of divorce is just one of the many challenging issues you’re going to face as you work to dissolve your marriage. If you find that you could benefit from legal assistance as you navigate the process, consider reaching out to an attorney who will put your and your children’s interests first.