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Stay conscientious when talking about divorce with your kids

Parents are often at a loss for words when it's time to tell their young ones that mommy and daddy are getting a divorce. It's important to remember, however, that divorce is commonplace in modern society and your children have probably talked with other kids about what it's like to live with a single mom or dad.

With this in mind, you may have an opening for the "divorce talk." Ask your kids about their friends who live with divorced parents, and try to keep the following in mind when breaking the news:

Make sure your kids know that the divorce is not their fault: Tell your children that their behavior has been excellent and your decision to get a divorce has nothing to do with them – it was a decision that mom and dad reached on their own.

Tell your kids that it's okay however they feel: Your kids need to be supported no matter how they feel about the divorce. Encourage them not to feel guilty about their feelings, that however they feel is natural, and that they could change throughout the day. Given that information, parents should also support their kids' feelings and no try to change or redirect how they feel.

Look for support from a professional: Sometimes parents may want to seek out support from a family counselor if they feel that their children are having trouble dealing with the news. A family therapist can be very helpful in assisting children to work through their issues relating to the divorce.

Another way to support your children is to reach a peaceful out-of-court divorce and child custody agreement. By finalizing your divorce in a peaceful way, your children will have an easier time coping with the divorce.

Source: The Spruce, "Talking with Children About your Divorce," Wayne Parker, accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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