4 Tips on Talking about Children and Divorce
Divorce can have a devastating impact on children. The negative effects of divorce on kids is lessened when parents employ an appropriate strategy to communicate with them. There are four primary tips parents planning to end their marriage must keep in mind when facing the issue of children and divorce./p>
Children and Divorce – It’s not Their Fault
Although it has become something of a cliché when discussing divorce with children, it remains crucial to emphasize that the end of a marriage is not their fault. A conversation involving children and divorce must always be focused on the premise that children are not to blame for the state of the marriage of their parents.
Involve Both Parents
Ideally, when addressing the issue of divorce and children, both parents are involved in the initial conversation together. There are some cases in which this is not possible due to the inability of the parents to make any sort of united front in an effective manner. However, when possible, the parents must put aside their differences to discuss a divorce jointly with their children.
If a joint conversation is beyond the realm of possibility, each parent should discuss the situation with the children. These independent conversations involving children and divorce should occur in close proximity to one another time-wise.
Answer Questions Clearly
As part of appropriately addressing the matter of children and divorce, parents must respond to the questions raised by children concisely and clearly. Parents should not be deceptive or evasive. Answers to questions must be kept at an age appropriate level for optimal clarity. On a related note, parents should respond to children’s question promptly. Putting off responding to questions can leave children bewildered and confused at best and overly concerned about the future in the worst case scenario.
Reassure Children about the Future
Along with making certain that children never feel they are to blame for the end of a marriage, they also need to be reassured about the future. Included in this discussion involving children and divorce is the assurance that both parents will remain actively involved in the lives of the children. An age appropriate explanation of how custody and parenting time will work in the future is a key element of the conversation that reassures children about what will happen in the future.