What to Tell Your Child During a Divorce
When you have children, making the decision to get a divorce is particularly difficult. You may be unsure of what to tell your kids or frightened of how the divorce will affect them. Keeping the lines of communication between you and your children open is key to ensuring that your children know what to expect during the divorce process. Here’s what you can tell your child during a divorce.
Always Be Honest
You don’t have to lie to your children about why you’re getting a divorce. Kids are smart and they’re likely to see through any smokescreens you try to put up, and then they may have issues trusting you in the future. Instead, simplify your reasons into something they can understand. Let them know that you and your spouse have difficulty getting along and you felt separating would be best.
Let Them Know What Will Be Different — And What Will Stay the Same
Your kids are going to be concerned about the changes that will happen in the next few weeks, months, and years. They need to know what will change — like their living situation — and what won’t change — like how much you love them. If they’re enrolled in extracurricular activities like dance or karate, let them know they’ll still get to go to their lessons each week.
Avoid Discussing Negative Issues
Unfortunately, many parents going through a divorce don’t have the outside support they need and end up venting frustrations and issues around their children or even to their children. Letting your children be a sounding board can do more harm to them than it does good for you — after all, your ex-spouse isn’t their ex-parent. You don’t have to paint a picture of rainbows and butterflies, but avoiding the really negative stuff can help keep things from frightening your child.
Ask Them About How They’re Feeling
Telling your children about the divorce and why it’s happening is only part of it. Your children need the opportunity to speak and voice their feelings as well. Ask your children how they’re feeling about their situation, because it may change from day to day or week to week. Let your child talk about how it’s affecting them in a safe and loving space.
If you need support during your divorce, especially with child custody and support issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to divorce lawyer Barbara E. McNamara. Call now for a consultation at (714) 740-2542.
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