One of the most difficult conversations to have is when someone tells their spouse they want a divorce. However, the conversation that comes in at a close second is telling the kids about it.
Every family is different. So, there is no single strategy that parents should take when telling their children about the divorce. However, there are a few general tips that might help New Jersey parents manage this tough conversation.
Preparation is key
Once spouses decide to divorce, it can be understandably difficult to continue collaborating as parents. However, spouses must work together and establish a plan for this conversation.
Preparing for the conversation ahead of time can make the actual thing seem much easier. A few factors that parents can prepare for include:
- Choosing the right time: Life is busy. But selecting a time for the conversation when no one has previous commitments or when no one is under too much pressure can help reduce outside stress.
- Deciding what to say together: How do the spouses want to approach the conversation with their kids? How many details should they share with their kids? Considering questions like these can help spouses determine precisely what they want to say.
- Making a plan to handle questions: More often than not, children will have many questions after they hear the news. These questions can seem overwhelming and stressful, but considering a strategy beforehand can be helpful.
The whole family should be present
This is one conversation that everyone in the immediate family should be a part of. Both parents should tell their children together, and all of the kids should be present, regardless of their age.
A divorce will impact everyone, so it is critical that everyone is involved in the conversation. This is also one of the primary reasons that the conversation requires thorough preparation.
Remember: Everyone will need reassurance
The conversation itself is a challenge. And divorce is a stressful process that involves many differing emotions. So, it is important to address those feelings and support children through this tough time.
Many sources also advise parents to reassure their children that they love them. Many children worry they did something wrong, or that their parent's love for them has changed when they hear about the divorce. This, on top of the now uncertain future, can cause children a lot of stress.
Assuring children that they are loved and safe, no matter what can help everyone through this time, including parents.