It’s no secret that divorce is hard on a lot of children. In many instances, it shatters their perception of their world and stability. As scary as that might sound to you, you need to recognize that there are things that you can do to minimize or even completely eliminate these the negative effects of divorce on your children.
Know how to address divorce with your kids
You have to be thoughtful and delicate when discussing divorce with your children, so consider the tips mentioned below before engaging them on the topic.
- Be prepared: Know how you’re going to break news of divorce.
- Present a united front with your spouse, if possible: Bringing up divorce together with you spouse helps your children feel like it was a mutual and respectful decision, which can lessen the blow.
- Don’t bicker over blame: This can be hard to avoid, especially if your spouse really is responsible for the divorce, but placing blame on each other in front of your kids can cause a lot of damage to them. It can create resentment, too, that can be difficult to overcome in both the short and long-term. It can also make co-parenting a nightmare.
- Accept their emotions: Your kids are going to exhibit a lot of different emotions. Don’t try to stifle them. Your kids need to feel them in order to work through everything and find acceptance.
- Be available and reassuring: Let your kids know that you’ll always be available to answer their questions and that, no matter what, you’ll continue to love them. Also, help them recognize that, while a lot will change with the divorce, some things won’t. This can help provide them with a sense of stability.
- Be honest: Kids are smart. You should be honest with them so that they don’t catch you in a lie, thereby damaging the trust between you.
Dealing with divorce can be tough on everyone involved, but if you’re like most parents, then you’re probably most concerned about your children. There are things you can do to protect their interests, though. In addition to the tips mentioned above, you can take certain legal positions that seek to protect their best interests. To learn more, think about discussing your case with a family law attorney.