Talking to Your Children About Divorce
In any divorce or separation involving children, it’s important that the children understand what is happening and parents address their concerns at each stage. No matter their age or maturity level, every child will have some anxiety about the process and changes impacting their daily life. The following are some tips on how to alleviate some of your children’s stress when discussing divorce or separation: Address it Together Children need to hear from both parents and the risk of blaming or insulting the other parent will be extremely reduced if everyone is in the room together. Children need support from both parents. Unless there is a history of family violence or abuse, parties should try to sit down together to talk about the situation. If the parties are struggling to keep a neutral tone, use of a family therapist or other neutral third party may be advisable. Stay Broad Your children don’t need to know which spouse is paying how much in child support or what the specifics are of the marital home refinance. Keep answers to your children’s questions broad and focus on matters that will impact them. The most important items to address will be:
- Where each parent will be living,
- That both parents still love and want to share time with the children,
- When the children’s schedules will change and how,
- When and how frequently the children will get to see each parent.
- Do not criticize or blame,
- Avoid name-calling and insults,
- Watch your body language,
- Try to keep your emotions under control.