5 Tips for Talking To Your Child About the Divorce

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Even if you know your pending divorce is the right thing to do, it can be difficult to know how to break the news to your child.

And, while there seems to be a lot of focus on how to approach your partner about divorce, it is easy to forget about how you will talk about it with your child.

That said, there are some great tips for making the divorce conversation a little bit easier on everyone involved, if you look hard enough.

Luckily, to make things easier, we are going to share some of those tips with you right now.

1. Make Sure it’s Happening

There is nothing worse than telling your child that you are your partner are getting divorced, only to retract that statement later after you decide to work it out. This can scare children, make them fear the worst can happen at any time, and cause them to lose trust in what you say.

Make sure you are really getting a divorce before you start the divorce conversation.

2. Make Time for It

If you are ready to discuss a divorce with your child, schedule time to do it. In addition, make sure your child knows you need to talk to them about something important so they come prepared to listen and engage with what you have to say.

Don’t initiate such a serious conversation right before bedtime, school, or any other event. Make sure you give your child enough time to ask questions and react to the news.

3. Tell Them All

If you have more than one child, make sure to include all of them – no matter their ages – in the conversation. You don’t want to burden older children with such a heavy secret, or leave out important members of the family just because they are young.

Divorce will affect everyone, little ones included. This is especially true when a divorce attorney gets involved and starts doling out advice on things like asset allocation, child custody, and visitation rights.

4. Be Honest

While you don’t want to overload your child with all of your feelings concerning the divorce, it is okay to let them know you too have feelings about the situation. This realness makes you relatable to your child (as they will probably feel similar things).

However, it is important to avoid looking to your child for comfort or pressuring them to choose your side. Never badmouth your partner in front of your child and do not share everything that is going on.

5. Ask for Help

If talking to your child about your divorce seems too overwhelming, remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes a professional can help guide difficult conversations like this better than you can on your own.

A therapist can help your family cope with the changes that are about to come and knows exactly what to say to make things as seamless as possible as your family undergoes a major transition.

Altogether, talking to your child about divorce is never going to be easy. However, if you take a practical approach to it, mix in some real feelings, and remain open with your child, a divorce discussion will be less stressful for everyone involved.

This guest post was written by Lindsay Liedke

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