How you prepare your children for divorce is critical. If you handle things well, your kids can thrive as well as anyone in the long run.
Let’s look at some ways to lessen the impact your divorce has on them:
- Plan how to tell them: Set aside time to tell the kids. It may take longer than you think. Discuss with your spouse how you will handle this together.
- Be honest: Divorce is not good news for your children, do not try to pretend it is. If you take them to their favorite restaurant to break the news, do not be surprised if they never want to go there again.
- Reassure them it is not their fault: Research shows that children often blame themselves for their parents’ divorce.
- Continue to talk with them: This should not be a one-off conversation. It takes time for children to process such a major change. You may need expert help if they struggle to express their emotions.
- Explain the changes: Inform them how the divorce will affect them. Will they still go to the same school and play with their best friend? Will they have to get out of bed earlier to get to school on time? This information allows them to retain some order in their life when their world has been thrown into turmoil.
- Avoid negativity about the other parent: If you and your co-parent speak badly about each other, your children may feel obliged to choose sides.
- Put your children first: Keep this in mind always. Any decisions you make and any actions you take, should be done keeping their best interests in mind.
If you want to reduce the impact of divorce on your children, finding the right attorney is vital. One who understands and cares about the trauma children face in divorce can help you negotiate the legal side of things with the minimum disruption to your children.