Divorce may be one of the most difficult circumstances a family can face. Talking to your children about your divorce and preparing them for the changes ahead can be challenging. Learn how to prepare your child for your divorce with these must-tell messages.
“This is Not Your Fault.”
Children may feel they are to blame for their parents’ marital difficulties. Explain to them the divorce is not their fault. You can acknowledge you and your spouse sometimes fight about your children, if this is true, but emphasize it isn’t your kids’ fault when you do. Emphasize while the disagreement may concern them, they aren’t to blame for the argument.
“We Will Always Be Your Parents.”
Children can feel abandoned or betrayed by their parents during a divorce. Talk with them and let them know you and your spouse still love them, and will always be your children’s parents, even if you are no longer married. You will always love them, support them, and you want them to be happy. Reassure your kids, while they may gain step-parents, they will never lose their real parents.
“This is About Change, Not Blame.”
You children may feel anxious about the upcoming changes, but talk with them about the changes that will happen. Focus on the positive changes, and stress these changes aren’t about who is good or bad. You and your spouse are the same people you have been, but your family’s situation is changing. Your family is trying a new way of doing things.
“Mom and Dad Will Always Love You.”
Many things change in a divorce, but not the love you have for your children. Even if you and your spouse no longer love each other, tell your kids that you will always love them. Support them and be available to reassure them and answer questions. Your children may need to see tangible examples of your love, so be prepared to spoil them with some more attention, fun activities, or other expressions of affection. Take time to be there for your kids.
“Things Will Be Okay.”
Things may not feel okay now, but your children need to know the future will be better. The changes of divorce can be frightening, and they may feel uncertain about their future. Discuss the process of the divorce and the changes they can expect to see. Reassure them things may be new and strange, but they won’t always feel that way. Just as they learned to ride a bicycle, or start a new grade, or try a new sport, unfamiliar things can become comfortable after time passes.
“You are safe.”
Big changes can leave children feeling unsafe and uncertain of their role in things. Let them know you and your spouse are still taking care of them. Try to include your kids in decisions when you can, and help them to feel like they have some say in the future of the family. Do not expect them to take on more adult roles. They are children and should be allowed to have their childhood.
Preparing your children for divorce can be emotional and difficult. You and your children may struggle with the conversation. Remind them you are a family and will face the challenges together. If your child needs comfort or needs space, allow them to handle the process the way they wish. Validate their feelings about the changes, and be available to them if they need to talk or have questions for you.
Don’t face the challenges of divorce alone. Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A. can provide the trusted legal advocacy that you need. Our Ocala divorce lawyers will provide you with caring and personalized client service throughout your case.