Parenting comes with many duties that you can’t prepare for ahead of time. Since no one plans on getting a divorce when they get married and start a family, talking to the kids about it almost always falls into that category. It is a difficult conversation, but a necessary one. It is also a conversation they will likely never forget, so it is essential to be ready beforehand and go into it with confidence and compassion. Keep these ideas in mind when you are faced with this difficult family talk.
- Plan of attack. Prepare what you are going to say before you talk to your children. This is no time for improvisation. Discuss this with your soon-to-be-ex beforehand and know what points each of you will cover. Include letting them know that things are going to change, but it is not their fault, you are still their mom and dad and you each love them very much, and the fact that you tried to work things out, but you have decided that this is best.
- Make it about “we.” Even if the divorce isn’t a mutual choice, you must present a united front, and it is best to share it with them as a joint decision. Get all of the children together with both parents for the talk and use the word “we” frequently. You need to let them know that you can work together to make things as smooth and stress-free as possible.
- Be ready for questions and emotions. Children process things differently than adults, and they may ask some questions or express feelings you’re not expecting. Approach your response as tactfully as you can and consider talking to each child individually after the family talk.
If you need advice on any aspect of your divorce proceedings, reach out to the skilled professionals at the Davis & Pedrojetti Divorce & Family Law Firm today at (541) 842-2139.