Garton & Vogt
Telling your children about divorce
It's been a long struggle. You and your spouse may have tried to keep up appearances or you may have fooled yourselves into thinking the marriage can be saved. One day, though, it becomes clear that the right decision is to go your separate ways. You may be at peace with it but if the two of you have children, it's important to tell them about the divorce in the right way. After all, this is life changing information for them and, depending on their age and maturity, it may be difficult for them to understand. But every parent wants what's in the best interests of their children.
So, here are a few things to keep in mind as you approach your children about the divorce:
- Break the news to all your children at the same time. That way, all of the family is included and no one feels like secrets are being kept.
- Ideally, you and your spouse should both be there to show them that you are both dedicated to being present in their lives.
- Be direct without being harsh. Use clear language so they understand exactly what's happening. Uncertainty can lead to anxiety.
- Never allow them to feel that they are to blame for the split.
- Keep an even tone and don't lose your cool. Too much emotion can tip the scales and turn the proceedings in a negative direction.
You may also want to consider hiring an attorney to help you through the process. He or she can help you get through the divorce in a less contentious way, which will only benefit your children in the long run.