Figuring out how to have those tough conversations with kids is the difference between a good parent and a great parent. Few conversations are as difficult as the one in which parents have to sit down and explain to their kids that they are going to divorce. There are ways to help kids adjust and cope with this change in their lives.
Whether kids are elementary school age or teenagers, they will have to cope with and process the change in their parents’ marital status. Regardless of their age, it is recommended to be as straightforward as possible without sharing too many details. Encourage any questions or communication from kids about the family law process without over-sharing.
Continue to reassure kids that everything is going to be okay and that they are supported from spouses. Doing the best not to bad-mouth the spouse in front of, or in earshot of the child can help the child not feel stuck in the middle. Divorcing spouses should not forget to take care of themselves during this stressful time — have a girls’ night, catch a yoga class or focus emotional wellness to ensure they can better take care of them as you will be more attentive.
Doing the best to be flexible and approachable in this situation will help to avoid disagreements and unnecessary fight or stress during the divorce process. Custody decisions will be made during the divorce process in which it will be decided who has physical and/or legal custody of the kids. The child’ best interests do come first in determining child custody arrangements.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, “9 Strategies to help your children cope with divorce,” Vikki Ziegler, May 21, 2017