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Hard Topics: How to Tell Your Kids That You and Your Spouse are Getting a Divorce

For those who have gone through it, many say that divorce is easily synonymous with death. When two people join in holy matrimony, they don’t anticipate divorce down the line. So when it happens, there are a lot of difficult emotions and decisions to muddle through. If the couple has children, this complicates the process and makes it that much more challenging. Divorce can be very traumatic for children, but when it’s handled a specific way, everyone can make it through to better days. When it’s time to sit down and talk to your kids about your impending divorce, there are a few points to consider.

They Are Loved

Many times, children blame themselves. There’s an assumption that if they were better children that they’d be able to make their parents happy and keep them together. Affirm and reaffirm the fact that though the marital status has changed, your children are still deeply loved. There’s nothing they could’ve done to cause this result. While it may be hard to initially believe, always remind them and show them that they are loved.

Expected Changes

When a divorce happens, the common changes involve relocation. In many cases, the children are herded back and forth between mommy and daddy. While this may work for the parents, it may not work for the children. It’s important to be realistic about the changes that can potentially take place. Additionally, it’s best to have an open dialogue about those changes and how they’ll impact all parties. Most importantly, it’s best to examine how it’ll examine the children. If you need to include a professional such as Madison Law Firm PLLC for the delicate matters, this is a wise move.

Feedback

Open dialogue is a very crucial part of the process. Respect your child’s need for honesty and transparency in terms of how they feel. If they have questions, answer them in a manner that still dignifies the other parent. The last thing a child needs to see is one parent pinned against the other as the bad guy. Always be available whenever your child wants to talk about their feelings and encourage their need to express their emotions in a healthy way.

Reinforcement

Understand that while this process is temporary, it’s not necessarily quick. The process of finding a new normal can be difficult. Throughout this process, reinforce your love, support and listening ear to your child. As long as they know they can count on you, it’ll make the process a little easier.

Divorce is never an ideal situation. While it is unfortunate that it happens all the time, there’s also solace in knowing that people survive these types of situations and lead happy lives. Understand that it’s just a temporary discomfort and the way you handle it with your children can make all the difference.

Tim Esterdahl

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