The end of your marriage will have an impact on every member of your family, including your children. As a concerned parent, you will want to take steps to ensure that your kids are safe and secure during this complex time of transition and change. One way that you can do this is by communicating clearly and thoroughly in a manner that is appropriate for their ages. How you talk to them about your divorce, including breaking the news of your divorce, is important.
You have the ability to influence how your kids handle your divorce by helping them understand what is going on from the very beginning. Before you have this important conversation, however, you may benefit from planning out how you want to do it. Being thoughtful and prepared can make a significant difference.
Preparing for a difficult conversation
It’s not going to be easy to tell your kids you are getting a divorce. This will change many things about their everyday lives, and you and the other parent will benefit from working together to tell the kids this news in a united and respectful manner. Other tips that will help you prepare for this difficult conversation include:
- Consider the ages and maturity levels of your kids as you think about how to tell them about your divorce.
- Be very clear in how you communicate with your kids, and keep the message as simple as possible.
- Have the conversation in a setting where they feel safe and comfortable.
- Make sure that your children know they are not at fault for the divorce and that each parent will remain in their lives.
- Explain to your children how their schedules will work and how they will get to see each parent on a regular basis.
- Be prepared to handle their emotions and questions, and be patient as they take in the news.
This conversation is only the first step. Your next goal will be to pursue a custody and visitation order that will provide your kids with stability and security long-term. While divorce is difficult for everyone, your role as the parent is to set aside your own anger or hurt and focus on the best interests of the kids above all else. This will help you reach a final order that will make sense for every member of the family for years to come.