If you share children with your spouse and are preparing for a divorce, you're probably concerned about how it will affect them.
The best way to break the news of a divorce to a child can vary significantly depending on their circumstances and stage of development. Today, we're covering how you can tell your kids about an upcoming divorce empathetically and effectively.
To schedule a consultation with our team for your divorce, contact us online or via phone at (636) 400-1177.
How much you should share about your divorce with your child depends on their age and stage of development - if you're unsure where to draw the line, a family or child therapist specializing in developmental psychology could help.
Regardless, it's not you or your spouse's place to air dirty laundry about the other party to your child. Try and keep them out of parental conflicts, especially those that involve badmouthing the other parent. You want to get your co-parenting relationship off to a good start, even if you don't believe you can be married to your spouse anymore.
Do: Let Them Know What to Expect
Your child will want to know how your divorce will impact their life, and you should be able to share that information with them.
Be prepared to answer questions such as whether they'll need to attend a different school, who they'll be living with while the divorce is ongoing, how much time they may spend with you and your spouse, etc.
Don't: Imply the Divorce Is Their Fault
Many children reflexively assume the divorce is their fault, or that there's something they can do to encourage you and your spouse to get back together or save your marriage.
Take care with how you speak to your child about the divorce. The last thing you need is them shouldering the blame of the divorce themselves.
Do: Encourage Them to Express Themselves
Your child may react to the news of the divorce in a wide range of different ways. Whatever the case, it's important to let them know that you're there for them and encourage them to express themselves in a healthy manner.
If you worry you may not be able to handle your child's reaction appropriately, consider enlisting the help of a family therapist to help you and your child process your emotions effectively.
We can help you navigate your divorce and child custody case. Contact us online or via phone at (636) 400-1177 to schedule a consultation with our team.