It is never easy to give your children bad news, nor should it be. However, children are an integral part of your life and being honest is always the best policy. If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, it is important you tell your children.
If you are finding it difficult to break the news to your kids, keep these four helpful tips in mind to make it easier on everyone involved:
1. Keep It Simple
Regardless of your children's age, you should keep the conversation simple. Do not include details about why you are getting divorced. Do not place blame, and do not bad mouth the other spouse. Keep the conversation simple and age-appropriate.
When talking to your children, only provide details about how the situation will affect them. Will they be moving? Will there be a new schedule? Will they see the other spouse? If so, how often? Will they need to change schools?
Make sure you provide as much information as possible about how the situation will affect their daily lives—especially if a major change will occur.
2. Keep a Unified Front
Before you talk to your children, you should take the time to sit down with your spouse and discuss boundaries, expectations, and changes. Both of you being on the same page will provide a more unified front for your children, which will make the time less confusing.
Ensure that you are both conveying the same message and be sure to talk to your children together. You do not want your child to get confused due to conflicting information.
3. Let Them React
Children will react to a divorce. However, they may not react in a way that you anticipated—or in a way that you see fit. Although this is a tough time for you, it's even tougher for your child. Let them react in their own way: whether that means laughing, crying, or simply needing more space. Just make sure you let your child know that both of you are there for him or her.
4. Answer Questions
During the coming days, weeks, or months, your child will probably have many questions for you. Do your best to answer all of the questions presented to you, as it will help reduce the unknown and limit fears and anxiety. If you do not know the answer to a question, be upfront and tell your child that. If you do know the answer, tell it to your child in an age-appropriate way.
Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Use these tips, along with the help of a divorce attorney, similar to one at Hart Law Offices, PC, to make the process as easy as possible for your children and loved ones.