We all know someone who stayed married “for the sake of the children.” While this is a noble thought, children are rarely as naïve as parents believe. Even if you don’t fight in front of them, they sense stress and anger. When they don’t know why you are angry, children often assume you are angry at them. If you make the decision to file for divorce, here are a few tips to prepare your children for the changes that are coming.
The most important thing you can do is to be sure you actually want a divorce before you tell your children anything. It is so difficult on children if you tell them you are divorcing, then change your mind, then change your mind again. Wait to talk to your children until you are sure that you will be filing for divorce.
When you talk to your children, have your spouse join you. This may be difficult for you, but it is only fair to the children to have both of you available if they have questions and to hear that both of you still love them as much as ever. Make sure you tell the children that the divorce is not caused by anything they did or did not do. You may think this is silly, but when children do not understand something, they will often make up a reason that makes sense to them.
Share as many of the details about the divorce as the children need to know, such as where they will be living, who will be living with them and how often they will be able to see their other parent. Make sure they understand that they can contact their non-custodial parent whenever they want and that that parent will be invited to all of the activities they are in.
Do not play the blame game with your children. Keep the private reasons for your divorce between you and your spouse. Never talk negatively about your ex around your children. Your ex is important and loved by them! You will hurt your children if you say bad things about your ex. Always keep their happiness as your goal!
Preparing your children for divorce is not easy, but it can be done. Children are resilient and will heal from the divorce, just like you will. If you think your children are having a hard time dealing with the divorce, a counselor would be a good idea. Make sure to give your children plenty of time and love as you all learn to live your new lives.
If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our free 7-Day “Divorce 101” course. Sign up below and you’ll immediately start receiving tips and guidance you can use to minimize the pain and time required to get through the divorce process.