One of the most difficult conversations parents could ever encounter and prepare for is how to tell kids about divorce. This conversation will certainly have a profound impact on your children, and remain with them, likely, for the rest of their lives.
How to tell your kids about divorce
Plan together the best way to tell your children about divorce. It is important to work together and determine how this conversation will take place. It is necessary to set aside uninterrupted time to ensure that the children understand the circumstances and can ask any questions that they have. In the best scenarios, both parties can sit together and talk to the children so that the children know that they are loved and supported by both parents. If it is not possible to address the children together, consider using a mediator or counselor or other family member or friend, who the children know and trust to help to sort out the details and navigate how to tell the kids about divorce.
It’s best to talk to the children all together if you have more than one child. Although there are other considerations that take place such as living arrangements or the ages of the children. It is best to speak to all the children directly so that the children hear about the divorce from their parents.
It can be tempting to over share information with children in some circumstances, oftentimes placing blame on one parent for the cause of the divorce. It’s best to avoid sharing adult details that will only create confusion, stress, or anxiety for the children. It is best to prepare a general explanation that doesn’t involve blaming the other parent, when navigating how to talk to kids about divorce.
When to tell your kids about divorce
It is best to tell your children as soon as possible once a decision is made, so that the children hear about the divorce from their parents, and not from another family member, or worse yet, someone outside of the family.
More than likely one spouse will be leaving the home. It is important that the children understand what the living arrangements will be, how the living arrangements will impact them, and what they can expect. Focus on reassuring your children that you are still a family, and the circumstances of the divorce will not change the fact that both parents love the children and that there will continue to be parenting time with both parents.
Telling teens about divorce
A teenager is more aware and addressing certain issues with teenagers can be more difficult to navigate. Teenagers often demand more information and ask details about the circumstances leading up to the decision to divorce that younger children do not often contemplate. Younger children will share tears, but likely will not always understand what is taking place. Teenagers understand divorce and it may be necessary to share more details about the divorce process with them.
Explaining divorce to a child
Here at DeTorres & DeGeorge, we can help guide you through the complicated process of divorce and related issues, including avenues of support when you are considering how to tell kids about divorce. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. We are here to help.