There are many tough, but important, conversations that come up when ending a marriage. For parents, this includes talking to their children about the divorce. Today, we’ll cover some steps separating parents can take when having such conversations to try to help make the divorce process easier for their children.
Avoid delaying the discussion
It can be tempting to put off talking about this difficult subject. But once parents definitively make the decision to end their marriage, it is generally best that they tell their children about it as soon as they can. This gives children maximum time to adjust to this news.
Be mindful of what details you share
It is important for parents to be honest with their children when telling them about a divorce. But they don’t have to share everything. It is important to keep such conversations age-appropriate. It is generally best to avoid bringing up details that could be confusing to the children.
Talk respectfully about the other parent
Another thing it is critical to steer clear of in these conversations is badmouthing one’s ex-spouse or asking the children to take sides in the divorce. Such things can cause considerable harm to parent-child relationships.
Be a good listener
Children can have many questions, concerns and big feelings during the divorce process. It can be incredibly beneficial for them to talk such things through. So, it is important for parents to foster an environment where their children know that they can share their feelings and fears and that they will be heard.
These discussions are among the many areas where it is critical for divorcing parents to stay focused on the best interests of their children. Such focus is also key when navigating legal issues in a divorce. Skilled family law attorneys can advise parents of what they can do to protect their children’s best interests in child custody matters and similar proceedings.