Divorce can be a painful and emotional event for anyone, but it may be especially difficult for children to understand. If you are planning a divorce, it is important to talk to your kids about the process and what they can expect. Here are some tips to help you with this conversation.
Talk to the Whole Family
Keeping secrets is hard, and being the last one to know can hurt. It may be tempting to tell the older children first or talk to each child individually, but it is likely that you will end up having to deal with stressed-out kids and hurt feelings. Pick a time to sit down with the whole family and talk about the divorce and the changes to come. A good time is a quiet weekend, so your family can have time to think about the news and ask questions as they think of them.
Explain What Changes They Can Expect
Divorce can lead to a lot of changes for your family. Ease some of your kids’ worries by discussing what they can expect to happen, and how these changes will affect them. You should also talk about what will not change. Will they still live in the same house? Will they stay in the same school? You should also remind them that they are still loved and will be cared for.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Even if you feel your spouse caused the divorce, don’t blame them in front of your kids. Keep a united front for them, and explain that the divorce isn’t anyone’s fault, especially your children’s. Talk about how people change and relationships may not work anymore. Remind your kids that they are not responsible for your marriage or happiness.
Give Them Time
It can take children some time to come to terms with a divorce. Give them what they need while they process the news. Some kids will want space, others will want to ask questions and talk about it, and some will want to be comforted. Do your best to be there for them when they need you, and to answer the questions they have. They are looking to you to lead them through this. You may also help them find a trusted adult to talk about their feelings, such as a mentor, counselor, or family friend.
If you are contemplating divorce, our experienced Clark County divorce attorneys can help. At Boswell & Dunlap LLP, we can call on more than a century of collective legal experience to help you and your family navigate your divorce case. Don’t wait to get help.