Divorce is hard on everyone involved. You and your spouse have to change nearly every aspect of your lives as you separate. But your children will go through many changes as well—so you should consider how you can help them cope.
Even though it might be hard to go over tough topics with your children, talking to them about what is happening may benefit your entire family. Proper communication is key to helping everyone get through the divorce process.
Be honest throughout the process
Being open about changes and feelings can prevent resentment and confusion. When you sit down with your children to break the news about your divorce, make sure you tell them:
- That they are not the cause
- That you still love them
- Your plan and timeline for the transition
- That they can ask questions and process their feelings when they are ready
All of the changes that come with divorce may cause emotional turmoil for your children. Make sure they know about changes like moving and splitting custody in advance so that they have time to process their feelings.
Keep fights to yourselves
Just because you are honest with your children about your divorce doesn’t mean you should share everything. They might not benefit from knowing about the disagreements that led to your divorce. Be selective about what you share even after you finalize your divorce.
Studies indicate that children handle divorce best when they remain close with both parents. You shouldn’t talk badly about your soon-to-be ex around your family. Poisoning your children’s relationship with their other parent may sound like it will make you look good—but it may hurt your children in the long run.
Depending on your children’s ages, you should be careful about how much you tell them. Teenagers can handle more details than their younger siblings. But you don’t need to open up about all the issues between you and your spouse.
You might be afraid of the pain your divorce will cause your children. But it might be worse if you don’t talk about it with them. Even though it hurts right now, it is in everyone’s best interest to keep communication open and honest during the entire divorce process.