One of the most significant concerns for divorcing parents is their children. There are many issues to consider to prepare your children for the upcoming changes when you decide to go through with a divorce.
In this blog post, we will focus on the most important messages to share with your children. The purpose of these messages is to give them a clear understanding of the situation and help them transition into a new family set-up.
Consider the Location & Timing
Let’s start with the setting, where and when you will tell your children the news. Choose a time when everyone will have enough time to focus. For instance, choose a time for everyone to sit down without responsibilities like a soccer game or a rehearsal to get to that night. Try to set the time after a meal, so no one is hungry. Choose a safe, comfortable place so the children will feel secure.
Keep it Simple
Plan your talking points together as a parenting unit. If it helps, both parents can prepare for the conversation by writing a list of ideas, compare, and combine the lists. There may be hurt feelings on both sides, but focus on the children and what they will need at that moment.
Break the message down to
- Need for separation
- Briefly explain why
- Plan moving forward
- Reminders of love
Tell Everyone Together
No one likes being singled out or left in the dark. It may seem like a good idea to share the news with the oldest child and let them pass along the information to their younger brothers and sisters. But, this can make the other children feel slighted and creates barriers to communication. When both married parents tell all the children at the same time, there is a chance for open dialogue and questions.
Be Willing to Listen and Open to Questions
People and children react differently to stressful situations. This conversation will be tough for your children. They may ask invasive and uncomfortable questions. But the more open and honest you can be with them the better you will prepare the children for long-term success.
Take Ownership Without Blaming Anyone
This divorce is not the children’s fault, but they might think it is. Do what you need to do to take responsibility for the decision to divorce without blaming your spouse or the children. It helps the children understand better when each of you takes responsibility for your part in the divorce.
FasTrack Divorce understands the complex impact a divorce can have on children. We provide the legal services to help you end a marriage effectively. As part of the divorce process, we help you navigate through child custody proceedings to reach a fair and respectful agreement. For more information, contact our team today.