Telling your kids that you and your spouse are getting a divorce is one
of the most difficult conversations you will probably ever have. While
there may be tears, anger and questions, there are ways you can alleviate
some of their pain. Here are five tips to help you tell your kids you’re
Plan what you’ll say: Don’t think that you can improvise this conversation. Get together
with your spouse and come up with key messages that you think are important
for kids to hear, such as letting them know that the divorce is not their
fault. At the same time, don’t say anything inappropriate and keep
it as simple as possible, depending on their age. You don’t want
to overwhelm them with a flurry of words.
Choose the right place and time: Pick a time and place that’s appropriate. If you can, get your family
all together to provide additional support. Try and tell your kids at
a time when you’ll be available to talk for hours after the conversation,
so preferably before the weekend starts. You don’t want to drop
a bombshell on a child a few hours before they go to school, because it
may affect their concentration and mood.
3.Keep a unified parental front: No matter what you say, say it together with your spouse. Even if you’re
on bad terms, your kids will feel more secure and less anxious if they
have both parents talking to them about the divorce. Also, don’t
play the blame game; that could derail the entire conversation.
Be open to questions: You kids will need time to process all of this information, and as you
very well know, kids are inquisitive. After your conversation, you should
be open to any questions they have. Better yet, prepare answers to common
questions so that you’re not stuttering out the wrong thing in the
moment. Answering their questions will open the door for ongoing dialogue,
which is a good thing.
Stay calm: If you get anxious, your kids will get anxious. If you start yelling,
they will yell. Do your best to act composed, even if you are nervous,
for the sake of your children. Take a deep breath and think twice before
acting on impulse.
If you want to get divorced or are in the process, please contact the
Springfield family law attorneys. We can answer all the questions you have, provide legal guidance, and
help you navigate this tough and complex process.
Call (417) 658-4172 or contact us online
to schedule a case consultation.