When you’re getting divorced, you are eventually going to have to sit down and have a conversation about this reality with your children. They need to know about the upcoming changes. This can certainly be a difficult conversation to initiate.
Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to make it easier for your children, inasmuch as that is possible. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Show that you are a united front
You and your spouse should ideally have this conversation with your children while you’re together, presenting a united front. Show them that you are still both going to be their parents and be involved in their lives, and that doesn’t have to change just because you’re getting divorced.
Assure them that it’s not their fault
One common problem is that children will assume that divorce is their fault. Parents need to consistently remind them that it is not and that it doesn’t change how they feel about the children. Remember that children sometimes make assumptions – like assuming that they caused the divorce – that don’t make logical sense to adults. But they are still important to address for the children’s sake.
Ensure that there’s enough time
Another thing to keep in mind is just how long you have to carry out this conversation. Don’t do it if there are any time constraints, like having to go to work or to school. Pick a time when you can talk for as long as necessary without outside stress or pressure.
Answer their questions
Finally, make sure that this really is a conversation. Give your children a chance to talk, too, and to ask questions. Take this seriously and provide them with age-appropriate answers and information. This helps to show them that they are still important to you and gives them information that they need at this important time.
Your legal options
Going through a divorce as parents can be complex, especially when sorting out child custody issues. Be sure you know exactly what options you have and what steps to take as you move forward as co-parents.