Discussing Divorce as a Family

Discussing your upcoming divorce with your children may be one of the hardest things you ever have to do. If handled properly, however, you can come through it with a stronger relationship between your and your children.

Before you talk to your kids, you and your spouse should agree on what reason you’ll give for the divorce. If the wounds are too deep, then ask a mediator to get involved – a trusted family friend, a school counselor, or another family member. Try not to portray (no matter the circumstances) either partner as the “culprit.” Placing blame will only make it harder on your child in the long run. If there is blame to be placed, your child will likely figure that out on his own and determine if he will forgive it or not. That is not your choice.

Be sure to reassure your children that the divorce is NOT their fault. You cannot say that enough.

Encourage your children to express their emotions. Be sure to support them talking to a counselor as an objective party is often the best way to move forward.

Expect a strong reaction from your child. Anger, fear, blame, grief. Support your kids. Tell them their feelings are valid and respected, but then make them believe that with your actions too. Actions speak much louder than words.

 

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