Getting a divorce can be stressful for countless reasons. If you have children, trying to explain divorce to them may be among the most significant sources of stress during this experience.
Explaining divorce to children may never be entirely easy, but it doesn’t need to be as challenging as you might assume. These tips can help.
Don’t ‘Sugarcoat’ It (Too Much)
You need to strike a very delicate balance when explaining the topic of divorce to a young child. On the one hand, you want to ensure that you’re taking all necessary steps to minimize how upset they may be upon learning that their parents will no longer be married. On the other hand, you don’t want them to get a false impression that this is merely a temporary change, or that the changes will only be minimal.
Be clear that your marriage is ending and that you and your spouse won’t be living together. Experts in child psychology recommend allowing children to express their own feelings on the topic as they process this knowledge. Although this might mean you will have to allow your child to express sadness, fear, anger, and a variety of other feelings, in the long run, being honest and giving them a chance to respond accordingly is best for everyone involved.
Be Honest but To-the-Point
Again, you need to be as honest as possible when explaining that your marriage is over and that your living situation is going to change in a fairly significant way when explaining divorce to a child of any age.
That doesn’t mean you need to go into very much detail when explaining why you are getting a divorce. Your children don’t need to know about every factor that resulted in this decision. Keep in mind, if you begin going into these types of details, you may end up saying cruel or hurtful things about your spouse, which will complicate an already difficult conversation.
Focus on the Positive
Children pick up on much more than their parents are aware of. Even if you and your spouse have tried to prevent your children from witnessing any signs of conflict between the two of you, odds are good they’re well aware of the fact that you haven’t been getting along in recent weeks, months, or even years.
Odds are also good they are not pleased with the way this conflict has influenced their home life. With this knowledge, you could explain how getting a divorce is actually going to result in positive changes for the family. Remember, to be honest, explaining how those positive changes might take some time to come to fruition, but give your children the opportunity to see how this divorce might be for the best in the long run.
Hopefully, these tips will help you address what can be one of the more stressful aspects of getting a divorce. To further minimize your stress, hire a qualified professional to work with you through every stage of the divorce process. Salt Lake City divorce attorneyEmy A. Cordano is prepared to ensure you are satisfied with the outcome of your final divorce settlement. Learn more about how she can help by contacting the office online or calling 801-804-5152.