How do we tell the kids that we’re getting divorced?

By Noviks, Dennis (FindLaw) of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

It has been a couple of weeks since we last discussed how children experience their parents’ divorce. In that post, a woman wrote that going through this experience actually made her a better person in the long run.

Of course, learning that your parents no longer love each other and are splitting up would be traumatic for almost every child, and no two kids react to this news the same way. Parents can help to some extent by breaking the news in a sensitive, honest and nurturing manner, according to WFLA-TV.

Here are some tips for telling your children that you are getting divorced:

  • Be honest. No matter how upsetting the situation is, it is better for children to hear about from their parents, rather than leaving them to try to figure it out for themselves. However, it is not necessary to share all the details.
  • Explain how things will change. Don’t spring sudden changes on the kids, such as one of the parents moving out. Instead, let them know at the beginning that things may change soon, but it does not mean their parents love them any less or won’t keep them safe anymore. Answer any questions they will have about the upcoming new living arrangements.
  • Do it with your spouse. It is important that kids hear about their parents’ divorce from both parents. Showing a united front can help avoid making the child feel caught in the middle of your relationship problems. Also, try to avoid fighting or talking negatively about your ex in front of the children, which can worsen their anxiety.

It may take a while, and possibly professional help, but most children of divorce are able to adjust to the new reality. In fact, it is rarely better for an unhappy couple to stay together “for the kids.”

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