Are you going through a divorce? If you have children, they’ll eventually need to hear the news.
Talking about divorce to children can be difficult. But, reading this post may help you learn what you can do:
1. Think about your children’s ages and maturity levels before you start
The thing about talking to children about divorce is that their age can affect their understanding. In other words, if you have children of different ages, then talking about divorce could be more or less involved.
Take, for example, a toddler and a teenager: A toddler won’t understand what divorce means or how it will change their lives. You likely won’t have to explain much and you aren’t going to have many questions.
Talking with a teenager will likely involve a harder conversation. They may learn that their parents are having a divorce, but they may not understand it. To help them process the news, they may have tons of questions and could even get emotional and combative. If this happens to you, you may find that being honest and open can help your children understand your divorce.
2. Plan a time and day for everyone to talk together about the situation
Knowing when to talk to your children may be just as important as how you talk to them. It may be best to hold a family meeting with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse and children. This way you and your ex-spouse and voice what they need to say.
It may also be important to find a time when your children can process the news. For example, having a meeting on the weekend may be better than having it just before your children go to school where your children can’t ask your questions.
3. Have an idea about what the future will look like
You’ll likely want to have some idea about what will happen to your children after your divorce. You may not have all the answers to their questions. But, by getting legal help and working alongside your co-parent, you may be able to create child custody plans or have some idea of what the future will hold.