Your children are inevitably going to find out about the divorce no matter how much you might wish you could shield them from it. As such, you should consider talking to them early and often. Divorce is often an evolving process, and kids need to be aware both of what divorce is and how it’ll affect them.
The following are a few things you may need to consider doing to help your children understand your divorce:
1. Reassure your child that they are still loved
Depending on the age of your children, they may blame themselves for the divorce and may even try to “fix” things and stop the divorce. This is common for children and shows that they are mentally maturing. However, this kind of thinking may be harmful if it continues to last. You may be able to resolve this issue by reminding them that you and their other parent still love them and will be there for them.
2. Explain what is going to change after the divorce
You and your children are going to find that a lot will change after the divorce. Change can be greatly upsetting for children. To help them through this difficult time, you may want to talk about what’ll be different after the divorce. For example, you may talk about whether your children will need to change schools. You may even talk about how your children may be living in two homes and how they’ll visit each parent on a rotation (if you know).
3. Let your children ask questions
Children often process things through questions. Depending on their ages, they may have few or many questions. Some of these questions you may be able to answer easily. But, there may be questions you can’t ask yet without reaching out for legal help. It’s okay if you don’t know the answers, but encouraging the kids to ask questions tells them that they’re not being kept in the dark and it keeps communication channels open.
Divorces happen, but they don’t need to be incredibly traumatic for the children involved. Learning more about your legal options is wise.