Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult times of your life. Not only are you moving on from your spouse, but you know that this will have an impact on your relationship with your children.
There is nothing simple about telling a child that you and your husband or wife are moving forward with the divorce process. As complicated as this may be, there are some basic steps you can take to alleviate the pain, stress and tension often associated with this conversation:
- Choose the right time. This is an important conversation, so you don't want to blurt out the details at the wrong time. Rather than discuss this during a family dinner, set aside a special time for everyone to sit down and learn more about what's happening.
- Decide which children to tell. In some cases, you may not want to discuss the divorce with a young child. This is particularly true if he or she will not be able to grasp what you're saying.
- Be ready for any reaction. You never know how a child will react, so make sure you're ready for anything that comes your way. Some children will cry while others show no emotion.
- Be supportive. Remember, you're not the only person going through the divorce. Your children will feel the impact as well. For example, they must get used to the idea of living with one parent at a time. You need to be supportive from day one.
- Let them know it's not their fault. This sounds cliché, but it's something you must do. You never want your child to think they played a part in your divorce.
These are the types of basic steps you can take when telling a child about your divorce. With this advice guiding you, it's easier to bring all the most important details to the forefront.
Divorce can be confusing on many fronts, so make sure you know what to expect at every turn of the road. This means many things, including an early focus on matters associated with child support and child custody. When you focus on these details up front, you'll know what to expect as your divorce moves forward.