4 tips on how to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce – So you’re getting divorced. How do you plan to tell the kids?
Most parents struggle to answer that question. Many times, they’ve been so wrapped up in the nightly arguments with their soon-to-be ex, exploratory visits with family lawyers, and their own daily emotional rollercoaster that they forgot about the children, who have heard the back-and-forth bickering and are scared, confused, and likely blaming themselves.
Even if each spouse is intently aware of their child’s feelings, figuring out a way to make the announcement is tearing them up inside. I’ll be honest, that conversation is probably the toughest talk you’ll ever have. But it must happen. I strongly urge you to seek professional counseling from someone who specializes in family counseling to guide and prepare you for this discussion.
Here are 4 tips on how to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce:
Tell them together
This is No. 1 on the list for a reason. Even if your divorce is setting up to be a nasty, contested case, your children didn’t choose for this to happen. They deserve to hear from the both of you at the same time. Breaking the news together helps avoid confusion, maintains trust, and keeps the child from “choosing sides.” It’s also important to note that this is also a great exercise in learning what it will take to co-parent once the divorce is final. You’ll need to work even harder once the divorce happens for the benefit of your children.
Plan ahead and keep it simple
This is not a time to “wing it.” You need to choose your words carefully ahead of time, avoid pointing fingers, and be clear that even though mommy and daddy won’t be living together anymore and that the path ahead might seem scary for your child, as parents, you will always be there for them. Speak in terms your child will understand; there’s no need to get bogged down in complicated details.
Tell them it’s not their fault
Your children will naturally believe they are somehow to blame for their parents’ breakup – that one time they didn’t clean up their room when they were told to must be the reason, right? Obviously, that couldn’t be further from the truth, so it’s important that you tell them the decision to divorce has nothing to do with them. Apologize for everything that’s happening and stress that it’s not because of anything they’ve done.
Be prepared for a ton of questions
What’s a divorce? Where will I sleep? Can’t you just say sorry and get back together? Why is this happening? The questions will likely come fast and in bunches, so be prepared to show grace and patience as you answer in an age appropriate way. Please note that not all questions need to be answered and you should gently redirect questions that tend to be of an adult nature. Also, be prepared for lots of tears and maybe some anger. This is not something you should get upset with your child about. Remember, you are the reason this is happening. It’s up to you to reassure them and pour love into them.
Call Nelson Law Group Today!!
When life does not go as you planned and divorce appears to be the answer, it is very important that you seek the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. The right attorney will give you practical legal advice that you can use to get through the legal difficulties with which you are presented. At the Nelson Law Group, PC, we listen to you and then provide a straightforward evaluation of your case.
It is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available.
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