Divorce can be an extremely difficult time for a family, even if it is completely amicable. You need to make sure that you take the time to explain what is happening to all members of the family, especially your children. Here are some tips to help you speak to your children about your divorce.
Ask the Experts
While news of your divorce should come from you, don’t hesitate to ask experts like family law solicitors for some advice on how to best approach the subject. They have dealt with many cases before you and they may be able to pass on some wisdom.
If you are considering co-parenting 50/50 with your former partner, they may also be able to help draw up a basic agreement which will help you successfully share your children’s time.
Be Age Appropriate
For children aged three and under, it is unlikely that they will remember you and your partner being together. Try to keep their lives as normal as possible and give them plenty of time with both parents so they don’t miss one too much when they move out of the family home.
Children between the ages of three and seven can be treated a little more maturely. This is the age where they are likely to actively ask questions about the situation. Don’t baby them, answer any questions they have in a calm and informative manner. Try to keep their lives as normal as possible and ensure that they are as happy as they can be moving forward.
If your children are eight and above, they are most likely mature enough to understand what is happening. This means that you can speak to them openly and honestly about what is happening. Things are going to be difficult and they are old enough to deserve a proper explanation about what is going to happen.
Your children will most likely have concerns and questions which you will need to answer. What’s more, they will have certain requests which you should respect. For example, they may have a preference to live with one parent. While it may hurt to be cast aside in favour of your former partner, you should try your best to be accommodating until the situation has calmed down a little.
This might be a frustrating process for you as an adult but it is extremely necessary. You do not want your children to resent you or your former partner as they age.
It is entirely possible to have an amicable divorce which even your children are satisfied with. Communication is key at all times. Make sure you have good, honest conversations with your children about what to expect from the divorce. Speak to them in a way which is age appropriate and likely to start a positive discussion. There is no reason why you cannot move forward into your separation successfully and with a positive mindset. Start this next chapter of your family’s life together in the right way, together.
Have you been through a divorce, how did you approach the topic with your children?
This is a collaborative post