One of the hardest parts of going through a divorce is determining how to tell your children that you and your spouse will no longer be together. Children develop at different rates, so tailoring this discussion to a child’s maturity level is very important. For younger children, the news of their parents getting divorced can be shocking, while older kids might internalize their emotions and choose to distance themselves from the family. In this blog, we explain how to approach discussing your divorce with your children.
Keep Your Message Clear & Simple
Leave out the messy details about your divorce and be concise and clear. Explain that you have decided you don’t want to be married anymore and that your decision has nothing to do with them. Tell them that getting a divorce will make you and your former spouse happier. Reaffirm that they are loved and will continue to be an important aspect of your life. Make sure you listen and pay attention to how your children react.
Don’t Lie To Your Children
Children are more observant than adults think. They can often tell when you are lying or avoiding a serious discussion, so be transparent when talking about your divorce. This not only shows that you value your child’s intelligence, but also helps them confront real-life conflicts. Kids deserve to know why their family is changing, so be upfront about your reasons for the change.
Let Your Children Know They Will Be Safe
One of the biggest concerns that children have when they hear about their parent’s divorce, is how their day-to-day lives will change. Children want to know they will remain secure and safe, but often have other concerns that might go unspoken. You should encourage your children to be honest about their emotions and help legitimize what they are feeling. While most children wonder if they are responsible for their parents' marriage ending, few have the nerve to directly verbalize this concern.
Are you currently going through a divorce? Contact our Glen Allen team of divorce attorneys to schedule a consultation today.