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Divorce Explained: How to Tell Your Kids That It’s Really over

There isn’t an easy way to have a conversation with your kids about divorce. It may not come as a surprise to them, but it will still be a shock. Here are some methods to help make this difficult topic more manageable.

Discuss as a Family

This is a conversation that needs to be handled with both parents involved. Show the kids that while you will not be living together anymore, you are still their parents. Children need security in their lives. They want to feel safe and loved. Demonstrate to them that they will have both their parents in their lives. The family living situation will look different, but you are there for them. Support them and allow them to express their emotions.

Be Honest

Allow your children to ask questions. They need to understand how this is going to affect them. Be direct and as honest as possible with them. Take into consideration your kids’ ages when having this conversation. Younger children won’t need all of the details explained to them. Older children might need a little more information. Just cover the basics of what is going to change. Emphasize points that will stay the same when answering their questions.

Don’t Blame

Make sure not to place blame on your partner. This is not a time to delve into personal failings. Let your kids know that they did nothing wrong. Explain to them that sometimes adults need to take a break from each other to be better people. This is about moving forward. Don’t try to use your kids as leverage. There will already be enough stress involved in this conversation. Don’t make them choose between their parents. They don’t need to feel stuck in the middle and have to choose sides.

Make a Plan

Have a plan prepared ahead of time for how living situations and visitations are going to occur. For example, set a schedule for who is going to pick up the kids from school on what days. Determine if it will be a joint custody arrangement, or if the kids are going to live with only one parent. These are details that can be handled with a divorce attorney, such as one from Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP. Just make sure that both parents are involved and that the kids understand what that means going forward.

Divorce can sometimes be hard for an adult to process. Your kids will need extra support and love to understand the new dynamic. Use these steps to help them deal with your divorce.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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