How to Break the News of Your Divorce to Your Kids
Divorce is never easy, and it becomes even more difficult when children are involved. Sometimes divorce is the best way to keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy. However, it doesn’t always feel like it in the beginning. There are many things both partners will need to do when starting the divorce process, such as finding lawyers to help as needed. But before you can begin finding a good divorce lawyer, you need to sit down with your children and break the news.
Be Honest about the Divorce
One of the best ways to help a divorce go smoothly for a child is to be honest with them. You don’t have to be brutally honest, but telling the truth will help your children understand what’s going on better. Let them know that the divorce is about the issues between you and your spouse and that it has nothing to do with them and wasn’t their fault. It’s natural to want to protect your children from the harsh realities of the world, but treating them with respect and being open and honest with them will help make those realities less harsh.
Give Them a Voice
In the end, you are the parent and need to do what’s right for your children. However, helping your children maintain some control when going through a divorce can benefit them in many ways. During this period of time, it’s easy for kids to feel like there’s too much change in their life, which can make concentration difficult for them, especially in school. While the bigger decisions should be left up to you and your spouse (such as how the custody will be split), you can still let your kids have some say in the matter. Here are some ideas of things you can reasonably let your kids have a say in:
-Which clothes and toys to keep at which house
-What kinds of furniture or decorations they want in their rooms at each house
-What time of the day they want to be picked up or dropped off when changing custody
-Who they want to take them to doctor’s appointments, school events, etc. (as available)
When kids feel involved in the process, it actually makes the process easier on them. Being left in the dark while seemingly everything about their life is decided for them can increase anxiety and depression in children. Letting your children have a say in some of the divorce processes can help alleviate the stress it puts on them.
When you’re getting divorced, there’s usually a reason, and that reason isn’t always a pleasant one. Some couples are lucky enough to just realize they don’t work well as a couple. Others can have a lot of bad blood between them by the time divorce comes up. But no matter how you feel about your soon-to-be-ex, it’s important to put that aside when facing your children.
Children all around the world see their parents fight fairly often. It’s a natural part of any relationship that can’t be avoided. However, the intensity of those fights could scare children or cause higher levels of anxiety. While you and your spouse may be fighting through the divorce, you have to separate your relationship with them from their relationship with your child.
Someone can be a not-so-great spouse yet excel at being a parent. When dealing with the divorce, especially around your children, try to focus on the kind of parent the other is. Don’t focus on the kind of spouse they were. Being able to acknowledge that they take care of your children or always make time to play with them can help you maintain a friendly relationship during the divorce process and possibly after. And when your children see the both of you working hard to make sure they are safe and comfortable, they’ll appreciate it as they grow.
Be Open about the Divorce
Along the lines of being honest, being open with your children during a divorce can actually help you grow closer. Most parents don’t want their children to see them cry. After all, as a parent, you need to be strong for your child. Being open and vulnerable can seem like the opposite of what you need to do. But all humans, even children, grow closer by sharing their feelings and being open with each other.
Divorce is messy, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Hager Law Firm, you can get the assistance of an experienced, qualified divorce lawyer. While it’s your job to make the divorce process easier on your children, it’s Attorney Hager’s job to make the divorce process easier on you. So call today at (903) 466-0001 to discuss your divorce needs.