Divorce is not easy for your kids, and it might be challenging to talk to them about it. Overwhelming emotions and confusing thoughts swish back in forth in your mind daily, and the pressure of saying the wrong thing might make things worse. However, it can generate positive foundations for a joyful future for everyone involved if the situation is considerately managed. In this blog, we help you navigate with telling your children about your divorce, supporting them, and learning to co-parent successfully.
- Both Parents Need to Be Present
The first essential thing to do before telling your children anything is to plan what you will say. Both parents need to agree on what you want to speak about and not. Also, the best time to tell your children about the divorce is as soon as possible. It is crucial to talk to them about real issues and not be discreet. Both parents need to tell the children what’s going on simultaneously to answer any questions aroused. You need to anticipate any questions, concerns, and emotions that will happen.
- Assertiveness Prevents Preconceptions
Assertiveness is vital to prevent your children from feeling that the divorce is their fault. Reminding your children that they are loved will eliminate any preconceptions. Each conversation should be direct and straightforward, explaining the reason for divorce in broad terms. Leave any vulgar and blame outside the room when speaking to your children about the divorce. The conversation should focus on the age-appropriate manner and reassuring your kids that you will continue to love them.
- Scheduling the Conversation
Parents need to schedule the conversation where the kids have time to process what’s going on and ask any questions later. Every child will ask different questions depending on their age and emotional levels. And some children might stonewall or be silent because of the overwhelming emotions. The best time to speak to them is at the start of the weekend or a few days before the children go to school.
- Co-Parenting Plan
Your marriage may not have lasted, but it is essential to agree to not disagree with parenting. When you compromise on how to raise a child, it will alleviate any issues that may come up. It can help direct your future relationship’s condition more successfully and create a positive transition for your children. When there are five to ten rules consistently in both households, it establishes consistency and routine. The rules can be bedtime routines or similar chores around the house.
Communication is prominent to successfully co-parent. Regularly update and check in with each other to keep your conversation focused on the children. Also, if face-to-face interaction is too tricky, then it would be best to digitally communicate.
- Children Look Up To You
Your children are looking up to you as a role model. When you treat each other with respect and courtesy, it will prevent any further issues. Try to distance yourself from foul mouthing and eliciting lousy information about their parent because this will make your children feel like you are testing their loyalty. Children will only lead to distrust their parents, which creates more tension.
- Allow Opportunities For Expression
As stated above, children need a space to allow them to have the opportunity to express themselves. Your children will experience different emotions at different intervals of the divorce process. Always validate their feelings and encourage them to talk to both parents. With young children, the best way for children to allocate themselves is using books or imaginative play. Older children or teenagers show behavioral changes and addressing them softly and gently. If they are struggling, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.
Divorce is complex for both parents and children involved. The best approach is, to be honest, gentle, and understanding in the situation. Working together as parents can help create a sense of peace in both households. Above all, your children come first before you, so make sure to allow them to express their emotions freely.
However, it is not easy to talk about money and other severe topics with your ex-spouse. If you need assistance, Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates can help you legally coordinate and navigate the divorce process by interceding for both parties. We manage financial disputes, visitation, custody, and much more. Learn more about us at our website today.