How To... Tell Kids About Divorce
Getting divorced is an emotional and life-altering event for you and your kids. If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, bringing the news to your kids should be handled with much care. Before you embark on this delicate task, you should plan your course of action.
Step 1: Handle it together
Even though the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down, you need to communicate with your spouse to get on the same page about telling your kids. Even if you are extremely angry, you owe it to your kids to act in an adult manner.
Step 2: Plan ahead
Pick a weekend date to break the news. You want to tell your kids on a day that gives them a while to recover before they have to return to school or any other type of activity. It's going to be difficult for your kids to swallow what you will tell them so you want to give them as much recovery time as possible.
Step 3: Don't point fingers
Avoid playing the blame game. Placing blame on anyone or anything isn't a good idea. Especially be sure not to blame your kids for any of the issues that have lead to the divorce!
Step 4: Share talk time
Each parent should be given an equal opportunity to talk during the discussion. Be firm in your decision and clarify that it is a mutual decision. Reassure your children that the divorce is not their fault and that you will love them forever, even if you aren't married.
Step 5: Listen to their concerns
If your kids have any questions, emphasize that you will be all ears. Also be prepared for any other emotion including anger and sadness. Your role as a parent will be to help your kids cope as best as they can.
Step 6: Consider counseling
If your kids are having a difficult time coming to terms with the divorce, seek professional help. Unfortunately, there are millions of children of divorce in this country but with patience, counseling and understanding your kids can come through it healthy and well-adjusted.
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