Divorce How-To: Talking to Your Children About Divorce
Talking to your kids about divorce may be one of the most challenging facets of your separation. Young children may have difficulty navigating the emotional complexities of a separation, but they can learn from these experiences too. If you are a parent and have difficulty talking to your children about divorce, remember this: Your children want to know that they are loved above everything else. "I love you," should be the first thing your children know about your divorce. Once you establish the fact that their relationship with you has not changed, help them understand divorce by following these simple tips:
- Tell your children the truth – Even young children need to know the simple facts surrounding your divorce. Avoiding the subject can hinder children from adapting to the separation.
- Keep it simple – Young children don't need to know every detail of your separation. Use simple phrases like, "Your mom and dad don't get along anymore," instead of giving specifics.
- Address practical changes – Prepare your kids for impending changes, such as a new school, new house, and visitation arrangements. You can also reassure your children by explaining the things that won't change.
- Avoid blaming your spouse – Your child wants to be loved by both parents. Avoid blaming your spouse for the separation. Instead, try to say respectful things about your spouse or avoid the subject.
- Listen – Children may be reluctant to talk about divorce. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings and be ready to listen.
- Reassure children that they are not at fault – Make sure that your children understand the reasons behind the divorce. Additionally, reassure them that the separation is not their fault.
What Children Want During Divorce
It's easy for children to feel abandoned and unloved during a divorce. Children want both parents to say involved in their lives. Phone calls, letters, and frequent visits can help children maintain relationships with both parents. Children do not want to see their parents fight - your child does not want to feel like his/her parents are divided against each other. Even if your spouse was at fault, avoid saying negative things about him/her to your child. This will keep the child from feeling like he/she has to choose between parents.
Austin Divorce Lawyer
At Menduni Martindill, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping families in Austin through tough divorces. We are wholeheartedly committed to providing high-quality legal guidance in all matters related to family law. You don't have to feel alone when you work with our team. Call our office today or fill out an online case evaluation to see what our Austin divorce lawyers can do for you.