It can certainly be difficult to talk with your children about the divorce. But unfortunately, it is a necessary step to take. The way this conversation goes will frame the divorce for them and have a dramatic impact on how they feel about it.
With that in mind, below are a few tips for how you should approach this conversation.
Honesty is very important. If the children feel that you’re misleading them or deceiving them, that can really make it hard for them to trust you at any stage in this process. This doesn’t mean that you have to divulge every single detail. Keep it age-appropriate and be willing to tell them that there are things they might not need to know. But always be honest.
Address their fears
Children are often worried about things like whether or not they caused the divorce or if they will get to stay in the same school system. It’s important to address these things, even if they seem ridiculous to you. For instance, as an adult, you certainly know that your children didn’t cause you to get divorced. However, you still want to communicate that to them if they are worried about this.
Don’t disparage your spouse
You and your spouse are going to have to co-parent once the divorce has been finalized. Don’t blame your spouse for things that were outside of their control or insult them in front of your children. Even if the two of you are not on good terms, these are conversations that need to stay between both of you. You certainly don’t want to alienate the other parent from your children.
The best thing to do is simply to gather your children for a family meeting. Talk to everyone at the same time, answer their questions and give them the necessary information. Then give them time to talk. After this conversation has concluded, it’s time to focus on your legal options.