Children can go through difficult times when their parents divorce. Often, the words and discussions they hear don’t quite make sense and that can be overwhelming. Some children may feel responsible for parental splits while others may be angry and some will try to get parents to stay together or get back together.
As a parent, you know that this choice was made with a lot of thought and you know the separation is what’s best for you, your spouse and your children. But that doesn’t mean your children will agree with you. And with that in mind, it is your responsibility to use the right words when speaking to your children about your divorce.
You should sit down and talk with your kids after you make the decision the divorce is happening. Put the phones away, and turn the TV off. Have this discussion face to face, and listen to your kids when they have questions, comments or concerns. It’s normal to be unsure about how to discuss this trying time with your children, so here are some guidelines about what you should and shouldn’t say.
What to Avoid Telling Your Children
- Don’t blame – As parents, you need to be on the same side when it comes to loving your kids. Present a united front to show your kids that you’ve both decided that divorce is the right choice.
- Don’t ask your children to choose – Your children should know that you both still love them the same. Never ask your children to choose between their parents.
- Don’t avoid the truth about why you’re divorcing – Parents often want to shelter their kids from the truth, but a basic version of the truth is the best thing you can tell them right now.
What to Tell Your Children
- Let them know it’s okay to be sad, angry and confused – Too often, children fear their own feelings. Divorce is difficult, and that’s a fact. It’s okay to have these feelings.
- Get them ready for change – Let them know things will change around the home, but they will still be taken care of.
- Tell them you love them – It’s just 3 simple words, but it goes a long way. This is a great way to end your conversation because it will secure the knowledge that even though this time is difficult, they are still loved.
The divorce process can be extremely difficult and emotionally distressing and your circumstances deserve the full attention of an experienced attorney. To speak with a Tempe divorce lawyer, contact us online or by phone at 480-345-2652.