22 Feb Divorce Made Easy: Talking to Your Kids
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is talking with your kids. Chances are you’re worried about how they’ll handle things, so you feel nervous about discussing the divorce with your children. It’s understandable. After all, divorce brings many changes and not all of them are good. All these changes should, however, be discussed with your children. Whether your kids are five or 15, it’s important to sit them down and talk with them openly and honestly. If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. Here’s what you need to know.
First off, try to tell your kids about the divorce with your partner. If the two of you are not on speaking terms, this may not be possible. If it is possible, however, you and your soon-to-be-ex should get together to discuss the divorce with your children. Hearing about the divorce from both of you presents a united front and will help your children to feel more stable and comfortable with the decision. This also ensures you and your partner discuss the divorce in a respectful, delicate way.
It’s also important to keep things respectful and civil. Chances are that you and your partner have mixed feelings and emotions regarding the divorce. This is normal, but it’s important that you don’t let your kids see you being rude to each other. Even if you feel like your spouse is the worst person on Earth, it’s important to remember that this is your child’s other parent. Your child still looks up to the other parent, so you need to treat them with kindness and understanding as much as possible.
Make sure you answer any questions your kids might have about the divorce. Typically, kids want to know if the divorce is their fault. They may also want to know if you’re going to stop loving them. Don’t brush off these questions, even if they’re painful or difficult to handle. Remember that your child is struggling with the divorce, too, and it’s important that you help them learn to deal with these feelings. Answering questions openly and honestly is an important part of this process.
Finally, consider attending family therapy with your kids. While this might seem extreme or unnecessary, the truth is that your family is going to go through a lot of changes. Having a professional to talk with can help you communicate openly, honestly, and effectively with one another. Reach out to your partner and see if they would be willing to attend with you, as well.
No matter what the cause for your divorce might be, keep in mind that each family deals with this trauma differently. Your kids might not have any trouble at all adjusting to your new lifestyle, but chances are they’ll have bad days and good days. It’s important to make sure you’re there for your kids and talk with them regularly about what’s happening. The more openly you communicate with your kids, the better off they’re going to be.