As you and your ex-spouse prepare to divorce, your children are also preparing for their lives to change permanently as well.
Talking seriously about divorce with young children or teens can seem intimidating at first. However, by preparing ahead of time, you can help ease your children into their new lives.
Listen with care
According to Psychology Today, many adolescents feel frightened or confused when the topic of divorce is first brought up. Some may react loudly and negatively, while others may try to avoid speaking about it altogether. Make sure to reassure your children that you still love them and nothing will ever change that.
Paying close attention to any questions or concerns they may have about where they will go to school or live is also important. Staying open to frequent talks will help you all transition to this new lifestyle without unnecessary stress.
Stay polite and civil
While first bringing up the subject, do not go into details about your ex-spouse’s behavior or your issues with him or her. Instead, talk positively about the future and save any complaints for private discussions with other adults.
By staying civil, you and your ex-spouse create a united front that is necessary for future co-parenting. This will help children feel safe and secure as they move between households.
Plan out what to say
Some parents find it easier to write down a list of ideas or subjects they want to discuss before talking to their children. Keeping the script age-appropriate and focused on the divorce can help curb any fighting or confusion as you break the news.
Divorce is an intimidating topic for anyone to discuss, but it also provides a new start for your whole family.