You and your spouse have filed for divorce. The next hurdle you’ll have to overcome is how you are going to tell your kids. By preparing for the conversation that you will have with your kids, you may be able to decrease their anxieties about the divorce and leave them feeling hopeful.
Here are a few tips on talking to your children about divorce and how to help them cope with a change in family dynamics.
Think about what you will say beforehand
Kids typically have many questions when their parents divorce. They may want to know why their parents are splitting up or the how living situations will work. Your children may be scared and emotional throughout the process. Preparing ahead of time for the various questions and feelings your children may have and planning how you will answer them can reduce the stress on everyone.
Talk to your children with your spouse
If you and the other parent are able to remain civil and calm, talking to your children together about the divorce may help in delivering the news. Answering the questions together and explaining that the changes won’t affect your love for them can help them to feel emotionally secure.
Check in with them
It may take time before your children adjust to the divorce. They can experience a wide array of emotions such as confusion, resentment, sadness or anger. You should check in with them often and make sure they know that they can confide in you. Comforting them both emotionally and physically can help them feel hopeful, safe and loved.
There may be no right time or perfect thing to say when having the conversation with your kids. By preparing to have the talk ahead of time, the conversation could help them understand that no matter where their parents live, they will always be loved and supported.