It can certainly be difficult to talk to your children about an upcoming divorce. They may not understand why it’s happening or they may be unhappy about it. But there will eventually come a point where you need to have this conversation with them as the process moves forward.
To help this all go smoothly, here are some important tips to keep in mind. They should at least help you get the conversation going, though the specifics of that conversation will be unique for each family.
Avoid deadline constraints
One important thing to do is to have this conversation when there are no deadlines coming up. Don’t do it before the children have to go to school or to an extracurricular activity, or before you have to go to work. You need to have enough time to have a comprehensive conversation and answer questions. Deadline stress just makes things more chaotic.
Give your children a voice
Speaking of asking questions, it’s important that this conversation is actually a dialogue. You’re not just telling your children about the divorce. You want to give them a chance to ask their questions, voice their opinions and get more information. It should be a two-way street.
Have a conversation as a family
There are some situations in which this may be impossible, but married spouses should strive to have this conversation with their kids when they’re all together. Ideally, you and your spouse want to present a united front to your children, showing them that you both still love and care for them.
These conversations are only the beginning of the divorce process. If you and your spouse are splitting up and you have kids, it’s imperative that you understand all of the proper legal steps to take.