The only thing harder than deciding to file for divorce, is telling your children. In fact, doing so is one of the aspects of divorce that parents dread the most.
Luckily, the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have drawn on their years of experience and put together the essential how to guide for telling your kids about divorce.
Plan and Prepare
Telling your children about your divorce is one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have. It is also one of the most important. It is crucial that you work with your ex to plan what you will say. Divorce is a traumatic time for children, and you can make it easier by remaining a united front.
Before sitting down with your kids, you and your ex need to agree on what you are going to tell your children. They will ask why you are divorcing, but you don’t have to discuss the intimate details. You and your ex can prepare for the talk by discussing living arrangements, visitation, and how the divorce will impact your children’s lives. Having answers for common questions will help put your children’s minds at ease.
Have Age Appropriate Conversations
How you approach telling your children about your divorce will make a difference in how they cope. A good rule of thumb is to tailor the conversation to their age. Younger children have harder time comprehending what a divorce means, whereas adolescents will have a better understanding.
When telling younger children about your divorce, use simple terms and concepts. Young kids can develop inaccurate ideas about divorce, so it is important to let them ask any questions they may have. Always stress that the divorce is not their fault, and the decision for Mom and Dad to live separately does not mean that they aren’t loved.
Adolescents and teens have a better understanding of their surroundings, and it is likely they have figured out that you are getting a divorce before you tell them. You can have a more open and honest talk with older kids, but keep in mind that they won’t let their fears show as easily as their younger siblings. Once again, it is important to stress that the divorce is not their fault, and that they are still loved.
Tips for Telling Your Children
The internet is full of dos and don’ts for telling your children about your divorce. Each discussion and experience will be different, but it is important to create a safe and calm environment. Set aside enough time to have a thorough discussion with your kids, and make sure you do it at home. Always encourage a dialogue, and be prepared to answer very painful questions. Your goal, as a parent, should be to make the divorce as easy as possible on your kids. This starts with how you tell them.
Never play the blame game during the talk, as it can lead to parental alienation later on down the road. Arguing with your spouse creates tension, and it does not help to foster a safe environment. Don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t have the type of reaction you thought they’d have. All kids process divorce news differently, and they may need time to process their emotions. Never, ever, force your child to pick sides during divorce.
An Attorney Makes Divorce Easier
Your divorce attorney cannot tell your children for you. They can, however, make the divorce process easier for you and your family. With their guidance and representation, you can focus your attention on your children and make sure that they are coping with the divorce. Your kids need to be your #1 priority during divorce, and the only way to do this is to hire a lawyer.
The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of New York City’s most experienced divorce powerhouses. The dedicated attorneys have represented thousands of New Yorkers, successfully advocating on their behalf both in, and out, of the court room.
For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!