A separation or divorce is an enervating process, both for the spouses or partners and their kids. It takes a toll on the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of all parties involved. Thus, it becomes vital to know how to support your kids during this discomforting phase while carrying yourself through it.
Before breaking the news to your kids, it is important to know how to approach the conversation so that they understand the situation and feel supported. It is vital to pre-plan what to say to your kids and anticipate their possible reactions. Although there is no easy way to break the news, make sure that both spouses or partners are present for the conversation.
Tip #1: Conflict Aside, Take Time to Plan
Granted, going through a divorce is an arduous and emotional process; keeping conflicts aside and taking the time to plan what to say to your kids and how to say it is important. Remember that your kids will be navigating unchartered territory too, and taking the time to talk to them and making them a part of the process will prove beneficial in the long run.
Tip #2: Keep Heated Discussions and Legal Talk Away from Kids
Your relations with your spouse or partner may not be the best at this time, but it is crucial to keep them aside when talking to your kids. It is difficult for kids to cope with the reality of their parents getting separated, let alone knowing that there are feelings of enmity between them. The goal is to make your kids feel valued and secure, so make that the central focus. Additionally, do not play the blame game or try to coerce your kids to “pick a side.” This hurts your kids and is not fair to them.
Tip #3: Use Simple Language and Keep the Information Perspicuous
Be honest with your kids without burdening them with the information they may not be able to handle. The most important thing is reassuring them that the divorce is not their fault. Kids of different ages and temperaments will ask different questions and require different levels of information. Take this into consideration when talking with your kids.
Tip #4: Encourage Them to Ask Questions and Keep an Open Line of Communication
Remember that this is a sensitive time for your kids. Thus, making them feel safe and secure is the best thing you can do. Kids are usually concerned about their security as well as wanting to be there to support their parents. Some common questions they may have are:
– Whom will I live with?
– Where will I go to school?
– Do I have to move?
– Where will each parent live?
– Can I still see the other parent?
Be prepared to answer uncomfortable questions. It is best to plan what you will tell the kids. You may not have all the answers, but make sure to tell them all that they need to know at that moment. It may be helpful to consult a professional counselor.
Tip #5: Show Them That They Will Be Loved and Cared For
Tell them that their emotions are valid. Allow them to express their feelings and listen to them when they convey those feelings to you. Tell them that their feeling sad and upset is completely fine and understandable, and ask them what you can do to make it better. Some kids usually take time to process information before reacting. Let them know that this, too, is fine. During such a difficult phase, kids are wary of how the relations between their parents will be. Tell them that whatever the outcome of the divorce, they have the support of their parents, who love them and will continue doing so.
Spouses or partners going through a divorce should consult a professional divorce lawyer with relevant expertise to consult you through the process. Getting a divorce can be a mentally and emotionally taxing process, and we are here to support you through it. Call us on (416-221-2221) to speak with a specialized Divorce Lawyer who can provide you with appropriate guidance. You can also visit our website to book a free consultation or visit us in person.