Divorce and Children: How to Break the News
Breaking the news about your divorce to your children is one of the most stressful parts of the divorce process. Many parents spend weeks contemplating ideas on how to tell their children that their mom and dad are splitting up. Here are some tips on how to tell your child about the situation.
1. Keep it in the age group. – Make sure your message is age appropriate. Do not tell young children in a complicated, emotional message, and do not talk down to older children who most likely understand the situation at hand. Keeping it age appropriate is the first and easiest way to break through the communication barrier.
2. Reassure the Reasoning – Your kids need to be reassured that the split is not their fault. Many children will be quick to think, “What did I do wrong?”. It is important to let them know that they are not a reason why the split is happening, and that they are still loved very much by both parents.
3. Keep them Informed – Let them know what will happen next in the process. Let them know when a physical separation will occur and what their schedules will look like for the next few months.
4. Assure Visitation – Unless the situation does not permit, assure the children that they will continue to see both of their parents. Let them know that the divorce does not mean they are losing a mom or a dad.
5. Keep them out of the Emotional Side – Many people are tempted to drag their children into the emotional side of the process. Be sure to keep your children out of the “sticky stuff”. You can do this by refraining from speaking badly about your ex in their presence, by keeping a positive attitude, and not using the child as a messenger between yourself and your ex.
Tell your kids the right way.
A knowledgeable St. Louis divorce attorney can help you understand more about putting your children first during a divorce.