If you and your spouse are getting a divorce, you know that you will be going through a whole long and complicated process already. This doesn’t even include telling the kids about your split. Explaining things to kids can be pretty easy sometimes, but it can also be worrisome if you don’t know just how they will react.
Telling your children that you love them and love each other but are splitting up can be confusing and anxiety-inducing to them. Love is still not understood by these children, and it might be a hard concept for them to grasp. This is why you will want to be very careful about the way you explain your divorce to your children. Here are some of our tips to help you through the process:
Use the right words
If your children are younger, you will want to be careful and gentle about your wording. Make sure you are keeping to the point while still informing them of the situation and still keeping in mind their feelings. You can say something like “We aren’t in love anymore, but that can only happen with adults, and we can never fall out of love with our children no matter what.” This will make them understand that you will not be leaving them, as that might be their first concern. For school-aged children, you might want to say something similar, but you can make concepts a little more complicated and straight to the point. You can simply tell them that you are both not in love with each other anymore, but will do what it takes to be good parents separately.
Introducing the idea of separate living situations can be a little daunting. When kids find out that they will need to move back and forth, they might feel like it’s a hassle. You want to try to focus on positives that might make the kids feel better about the whole situation. For instance, you might want to start talking about how fun it will be to set up a new home. Maybe someone will get a dog, and another home will have a bedroom for them to decorate.
If the relationship is rocky, you might not want to tell the kids together, especially if it might end badly. If you can’t even tell your kids about your separation together, you will need to find a way to do it away from each other. Make sure you are in the right headspace to be talking about it. We know divorce can be stressful, but do not take it out on the kids. It is better to have separate, calm situations rather than a disaster of an explanation.
If you or your spouse cry, it’s completely fine and normal. It’s meant to be a sad conversation and showing emotion in front of your child can be good for their development. As long as you keep your wording consistently positive, you will be able to show them that this doesn’t need to be a completely sad situation and that you will handle it as a family.
If you’re looking for divorce counselling in Connecticut, Judith Goldberg is your best option. Our experienced consultants can help you with any family legal matters that you need, so feel free to contact us today and see what we can do for you.