As discussed in an article published in Psychology Today, telling the children is one of the hardest parts of getting divorced. It is vitally important to consider the feelings of the kids and act in their best interest, just as the court does when determining child custody. Mishandling this conversation can prove damaging to the well being of your children, as well as your relationship with them. Some of the tips provided in the article include:
- Be honest – Be truthful with your children when telling them about the divorce, especially when informing older kids. Even if it feels easier to lie or manipulate the truth, it is likely that they will learn the truth at some point in the divorce process. Honesty now fosters your children’s trust in you.
- Answer questions – Your children will probably have questions when you tell them. Don’t ignore them or let their questions go unanswered, which could lead to more problems.
- Carefully choose the place and time – Put time and effort into choosing the place and time for the discussion. Pick a time and location that fosters a feeling of safety and security in your children.
- Don’t place blame – Don’t blame your spouse in your children’s presence. Also refrain from discussing spousal or child support with them. This type of behavior can make your children feel pressured to choose sides. If a united front is possible, it is the best way to communicate with your children.
- Tell all of your children at the same time – If you don’t tell all of the children at the same time, you could be placing an incredible burden on one child. It is best to tell them all at the same time if possible. This allows the children to support one another.
- Don’t criticize or prohibit their feelings – Remember that you are giving your child some very difficult news that could lead to a wide range of emotions. Don’t make your child feel bad for their feelings. Encourage them to express their emotions openly.
- Seek counseling for the children – Contacting a counselor that specializes in divorce could be monumental in helping your children cope with the effects of a divorce. This gives them a safe space to be able to communicate their feelings and process the divorce without feeling censored on what they can say to each parent.
Informing your children about your divorce is an extremely important and sensitive conversation. Put time and thought into it in order to protect your children’s best interest.
Another important aspect of the divorce process is choosing a Salt Lake City divorce lawyer. Contact attorney Jill L. Coil at Coil Law, LLC for an experienced lawyer who will fight for the wellbeing of your family.
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