Divorce is tough for everyone involved, especially the children. Young kids lack the perspective to fully understand what’s going on around them. They’re sensitive and easily confused, which leaves them vulnerable as they watch their family being torn asunder. As a parent, it’s your job to make this challenging time as easy as possible for them. Here’s how you should talk to your kids about the divorce.
Tell the Truth
While it can be tempting to tell your kids what they want to hear, you’ll only make it more painful when the reality hits them in the future. If there’s no chance that you’ll ever get back together with their other parent, then you should make that clear. If they won’t be seeing as much of one parent or the other, you should prepare them for it from the start. Just like adults, kids prefer to get it from you straight.
Let Them Ask Questions
There’s a good chance that their parent’s divorce is the strangest thing your children have encountered in their young lives. They’re likely to have a lot of questions, and it’s your job as a parent to patiently answer them. You might want to change the subject, but you owe it to your children to hear them out and assuage all their concerns.
Don’t Demonize the Other Parent
No matter how tense things have become with your former spouse, you should never try to turn your children against their parent. Kids deserve the opportunity to maintain their innocence until they’re old enough to figure things out for themselves. It can be hard to bite your tongue, but try to adopt a neutral tone whenever your former spouse comes up in conversation.
Don’t Share the Dirty Details
The children don’t need to know about your search for a divorce lawyer or the difficulties of reaching a settlement. Those are adult issues, and only the adults in the case should have to worry about them. All your children need to know is that a separation is taking place, and that they’ll still be loved just the same.
Talking with children can be difficult when you’re in the middle of a divorce. In order to make things as easy as possible for them, you need to be honest and patient without letting the nastiness rise to the surface. Follow these tips to have positive, reassuring conversations.