While it is important to learn about the laws concerning children during a divorce, there is more to divorce than just the legal repercussions involving children. Divorce is considered as a major event not only among couples but also among their children.
Regardless of the age of children, divorce is a very unsettling event which means the breakdown of the family.
As a parent, it is normal to feel on how to provide the right support to your children during a divorce. It is an uncharted territory that many divorcing parents have to face, but you can still navigate yourself through this troubling time and help your kids emerged from it all feeling confident, strong and wanted.
The thing is that there are a lot of things that you can do to help your kids adjust to a divorce. As a parent, you are the key to raising your children with dignity intact during divorce.
This post will discuss what you need to do to provide support to your kids despite that you and your partner is getting a divorce.
How to Tell Your Children about the Divorce
Many parents balk at the thought of telling their kids that they are getting a divorce. Sometimes, parents wait until the last minute before they tell their kids about the situation.
However, children can tell if you and your spouse are experiencing problems. The thing is that the sooner you tell your kids that you are getting divorced, the sooner it is for them to process and understand the situation.
Telling your kids that you are getting divorced can be a daunting task but you have to do it anyway. Below are the things that you need to do to tell your children about the divorce and make them understand.
What to Say and How to Say It
Although it is difficult to tell your kids that you are getting a divorce, you need to do it sooner or later. When talking to your children strike an emphatic tone and address the most important points.
Be honest to them. Below are the other things that you need do if you want to break the news to them.
- Be Honest
Your kids have the right to know why you and your spouse are getting a divorce. However, telling them a long-winded story about your plan to get a divorce can only confuse your kids.
So when you are telling them your reason for divorce, pick something simple and honest such as “we cannot get along anymore”. It is also important to remind them that even if parents no longer get along with each other, this does not mean that they will stop loving them [children].
- Tell Them that You Love Them
Tell your kids that you love them and that your love will not change even if you are going to get a divorce. Tell them that you will still be taking care of them and nothing will change even if they are getting divorced.
- Address the Changes
Divorce comes with a lot of changes and pre-empt the questions of your children about the changes that will come in their lives. It may scare them at first but reassure your children that you will be there to help them deal with the changes.
Avoid the Blame Game
It is important that you become honest with your children without being critical to your spouse even if you are getting a divorce due to infidelity.
Remember that your kids should not have anything to do with the reason for divorce so avoid the blame game. However, there are many couples who end up blaming each other in front of their children which often confuses children in understanding the entire situation.
So how do you avoid the blame game while telling your kids that you are getting a divorce?
Below are the things that you need to do in order to avoid the blame game.
- Plan Your Conversation
Talk with your partner and plan to talk with your kids before making any changes in their living arrangement. Do not talk with your children without your spouse. You need to be both present to avoid the blame game.
- Have an United Front
Agree with your spouse regarding the explanation of your divorce. Make sure that you stick with it.
- Show Restraint
Even if you are on the verge of attacking your spouse, be respectful when giving the reason for your divorce. This is especially true if you are talking to your kids.
How Much Information Can You Give Your Kids?
The thing is that even if you are going to tell your kids that you are getting divorced, there are some things that you do not need to disclose to them.
It is difficult for some parents to realize how much information they should disclose to their kids. Remember that telling them certain information is bound to affect them.
Below are the things that you need to understand regarding how much information you should give to your kids.
- Share Logistical Information
It is okay to tell your kids about the logistics of divorce particularly the changes in their living arrangements. However, make sure that you do not overwhelm them with the details by telling them the exact details of the divorce. It can help if you just provide a summary of the reason why you are divorcing.
- Be Aware of Their Age
As a general rule, young children do not need a lot of details to understand about divorce. You can do better by delivering a simple explanation.
On the other hand, older kids need more information. When deciding how much information to tell your children, be age-aware.
- Keep Everything Real
Whether you tell your kids too much or too little information, it pays to take note that the information that you tell them about your divorce is true.
What Your Children Want From You During Divorce
It is important that your children are not left off to fend for themselves during a divorce. Divorce is a life-shattering experience, but this does not mean that you should only focus on your wounds.
You might not know it, but children are more afraid, more worried and more confused than you during the situation.
Unfortunately, most children do not want to express what they feel for fear that they will be adding more to the problems that you and your partner are facing.
This is especially true if they are minors.
As a parent, you need to know what your child wants. Even if you and your partner are bound to dissolve your marriage, your children still want you to do the following:
- They need both of you to get involved with their lives. Children want you to write them letters make phone calls and basically get in touch with you no matter what happens.
If you do not stay involved, they will feel like you do not give them any importance and that seeking divorce meant that you want to completely shut your life away from them. So even if you are not guaranteed child custody, it is important to communicate with your children and get involved.
- If you must fight, do not fight in front of your children. Try hard to get along with one another especially on matters related to their welfare.
The thing is that when you fight about your children, they will automatically think that the fight escalated because of them. Children are bound to blame themselves when their parents are fighting.
- Children equally love both their parents. So don’t make them take sides on which parent they love the most. What you can do is to support them when you spend time with them or when they need you.
- Do not use your children as messengers to send messages to your ex-spouse. Do not involve them in anything about divorce. Communicate directly with your ex-spouse so that you don’t have to use your children to send messages back and forth.
- Do not trash talk your ex-spouse in front of your children. If you cannot say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all. When you say mean things about your ex-spouse in front of your children, they will feel that you are expecting them to take sides.
- Your children want you both as part of their lives. So be sure to be there during the special events of their lives like birthdays or even holidays. If your children want you to show up, then show up.