How to tell the kids you’re getting divorced is almost always on the forefront of a parent thinking about getting divorced. Often the answer is much simpler than you think it is. When in doubt keep it simple. Some tips about how to approach this topic with your children are as follows:
1. Keep it age appropriate. Don’t share adult information with your kids. There is very little they really need to know about the reasons for divorcing your spouse.
2. Assure them that this isn’t their fault. It’s very common for children of all ages to believe it is their fault that their parents are divorcing. Let them know that it isn’t their fault and that parents never divorce their children.
3. Tell them when the physical separation will occur.
4. Tell them where the parent who is leaving will live. If you can show your kids where the other parent will be living before they move out that’s even better.
5. Assure them that they will continue to see both parents. If you have worked out a temporary parenting time schedule explain the schedule to the children. If you haven’t worked out a parenting schedule let them know that the details haven’t been worked out yet but that they will be informed when such details are worked out.
6. Let them know that they will always be able to talk to the parent that they are not with either by phone, text message, email and/or skype.
7. Keep your anger out of it. Don’t say anything negative about the other parent. Ever.
8. Keep your hurt to yourself. Don’t manipulate your children by asking or requesting that they talk to the other parent about staying. Don’t say things like Mom really hurt Dad by doing x, y or z. If Mom would just…we could be a family. Totally inappropriate. Don’t do it.
9. Don’t make them choose.
10. When possible tell the children together.
If you’re still having trouble talking to your kids about your divorce consult with a good family therapist and always get a good divorce lawyer.
For more information check out our website at www.columbiamolawfirm.com.