A couple of weeks ago, we shared some tips for divorcing parents on how to successfully co-parent their children, even when the parents’ relationship is rocky at best. In today’s post, we will discuss something few divorcing parents look forward to: the conversation where you tell your children that Mom and Dad are getting a divorce.
Learning that their parents are splitting up can be traumatic for a child, but there are steps you can take to make the moment as cathartic and reassuring as possible, according to KTVI-TV:
- Pick a time when all of you can be together for several hours.
- Work out with your spouse ahead of time what you will — and won’t — tell the kids about why the divorce is happening.
- Try to remain calm, to avoid raising your children’s anxiety level. Avoid casting blame, except to reassure them that the divorce is not the kids’ fault.
- Provide details that affect the children’s lives, like which parent they are going to live with, and other ways their lives will change.
- Welcome questions, and answer honestly as much as possible. Show them that their parents still love them unconditionally.
Of course, much of this is not possible in more contentious divorce cases, or ones involving domestic violence. But parents who are still able to work together for the sake of the children may welcome some of this advice.
After that, it is time to finalize divorce matters like child custody, visitation rights and division of assets. This is where your divorce attorney comes in.