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Telling the Kids

When a divorce in involves children, one question that our clients from Tampa, Orlando and throughout Florida ask is, “how do we tell the kids?” This often may seem like a scary task due the sensitive nature of divorce and how children process the separation. Many parents are concerned that their children will blame themselves for the divorce or question whether their parents still love them. These are legitimate concerns. Notwithstanding, we included some tips below that will help arm you with the right tools and information to better handle this very sensitive subject.

Let the Children know the Divorce is not their Fault

As noted above, many parents are concerned that the children will ask, “is the divorce my fault?” In response, you should take care to reassure the children that the divorce is most certainly not their fault. How you communicate with your child during the divorce process can shape the child’s view on relationships, marriage and how they feel about their parents. Therefore, to minimize any emotional damage caused by the divorce, parents should reassure the children through their actions and through their words that the divorce is not their fault.

How you communicate with your child during the divorce process can shape the child’s view on relationships, marriage and how they feel about their parents.

Let the Children know that you and your Ex-Spouse still love them.

During divorce, children sometimes believe that their parents no longer love them or might be abandoning them. In addition to explaining to the children that the divorce is not their fault, it is critically important to let the children know that you and your ex-spouse still love them. You must also make sure that your actions make this fact clear. Remember, that the children need love and support from both parents. Therefore, resist the urge to disparage the other parent in front of the children and encourage the children to spend time with the other parent.

Do not pull Your Child into the Divorce

Sharing the legal and emotional aspects of a divorce with the children is something that parents must avoid at all costs. Processing a divorce is hard enough for the children. By speaking with your children about the legal and emotional aspects of divorce or badmouthing your spouse during the divorce, you are putting the weight of the divorce on the children’s shoulders and you are stressing them out. There are a plethora of co-parenting books, therapists, counselors and support groups that are available to provide you and your children support during the divorce process and after the divorce is finalized.

Parents must decide early on in the divorce how they will minimize any damage that the divorce may cause to their relationship with their children. Informing your child about the divorce is only the first step in a joint effort to continue working together in a positive manner with your children after the divorce. After the divorce is finalized, you and your ex-spouse will no longer be married, however you will both still be parents. Accordingly, it will be critically important for you to learn how to co-parent and work together for the sake of your children.

 

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