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Overcoming the challenge of letting kids know about divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Divorce |

There isn’t a foolproof method to telling your kids about your upcoming divorce. However, letting them know in a planned and sympathetic manner can help your family ease into all the changes that the near future holds.

Specifically, you should map out an introduction to divorce before the settlement is final, have both parents present for the conversation and set up an open line of communication for the future.

Make a strong plan

First, set intentions and rehearse a conversation you plan to have with your kids. Doing a test run with your child’s other parent can help you prepare for potential questions your child may raise. There are a lot of components to divorce, but it’s best to use the initial chat as an introduction to the process.

Present a united front

Although you and your spouse may plan to go your separate ways, it’s essential to show your kids that parenting and loving on them will continue to be a team effort. There isn’t a better way to do this than making sure you are both present for breaking the news of your divorce plans. This can help show that although your family unit will look different, you will not let your kids bear the brunt of any difficulties that may arise. They will continue to look at you as leaders and role models and a toxic representation of that may lead to emotional and behavioral problems.

Set the tone

Lastly, it’s important to let children know that this first discussion of divorce will not be the last. Tell them to process the news at their own pace and allow them to express their feelings without reservations. They may not be ready to share immediately, but let them know you are there for them whenever. When they do take the time to share their emotions, worries or concerns, one of the best things parents can do is offer a listening ear. Actively listening to what they have to say rather than budding in can help your child feel validated and more comfortable sharing how they feel in the future.

It’s crucial for parents to lean on support during this time, like family, friends or a therapist. An experienced family attorney can also provide guidance and compassion during this stressful transitional period.




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