When couples marry and have children and build a future together, they
don’t think divorce will be part of the process, but sadly for many it is!
For children, watching or living in a combative environment can be very
unhealthy. Sometimes a healthy divorce lends to the happy growth of one’s
children. Witnessing fighting in high conflict marriages can be very damaging
to a child’s development.
So once a couple decides to call it quits, the next important consideration
is to decide how best to tell the children.
Here are some of my suggestions:
Timing Is Everything
Don’t discuss anything with your children while you are still trying
to decide. They don’t need to go on any rollercoaster rides with
you, other than those at Disney. Be thoughtful and careful. Tell them
when you have made a definite decision to divorce.
Do It Together
You must present a united front. Do it together. Show you are both there
for them and that you love them. You should create a plan together outlining
what you will say. Be calm, confident, and reassuring. Try to focus on
your child. Put aside all your anger and who is right and who is wrong!
With Little Ones, Take Little Steps
Toddlers don’t need a lot of details! Speak to them in clear, simple
language. Reassure them that mommy and daddy love them. Little children
don’t understand complex words, emotions, or concepts.
Give Older Children More Information But With Boundaries
Older children will have a lot of questions. Be ready! Be clear and direct.
Children may not need to know about infidelity. Provide age-appropriate
information. Emphasize they are not to blame. Discuss what will change,
and what will stay the same.
Don’t Make Your Children Pick Sides
Never put your child in the middle. It’s unfair and hurtful. Don’t
speak badly of the other parent. Allow them to have a relationship with
both of you. The marriage is over but the family is forever! Tell them
that you will always be a family. It will just look different but you
will always be their mom and dad. Your child should have a healthy relationship
with you both!
Divorce brings a lot of difficulty and change. Structure for your children
will help with the transition. Stability is especially important for younger
children. Acknowledge their sad feelings and focus on what will not change.
Talk about the good things that lie ahead. Remind your children they can
always ask questions. Tell them they will be safe in both mom and dad’s
home. Lots of reassurance with cuddles and kisses will reassure them that
all will be well.
If you are thinking of divorce and want help with your divorce and speaking
with your children, call me.
My combination of legal and psychological strategies is effective when
it comes to divorce. Understanding and proper guidance is important for
a psychologically helpful and legally successful outcome.
For over 35 years as a divorce attorney and mediator, I have been helping
families navigate the psychologically and legally complex divorce process.
FREE 1 hour consultations are very informative and conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk!
I look forward to helping you and your family and sharing my tips on how
to speak with your children!
Stay healthy and safe!
If you are thinking of divorce, I am here to guide you through the process!
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner/Mediator now to schedule your