You may know that divorce is best for you and for your children. If you’re in a high-conflict marriage with a lot of arguing, it’s not just difficult for you. Studies have found a major negative impact on children from being exposed to this marital strife.
However, even knowing this is true, talking about divorce can be hard. Here are a few key areas to focus on when you bring it up to your children.
Tell them that they’re not to blame
Children, with a worldview that is often focused on themselves, tend to believe divorce must be their fault. You know it’s not, but you still need to tell them repeatedly to make sure that they know.
Explain that you love them
Similarly, you and your spouse want to reassure the children that you both still love them. No one is leaving the marriage because they don’t want to be with the kids. You can explain that the way that you spend time with them will simply be changing.
Answer their questions
Children’s concerns about divorce may seem minor compared to adult concerns. A child may be very worried about having to go to a new school after a move, for instance. You know that any school will be fine, but they don’t see it this way. Give them time to voice these concerns and ask these questions, and then do your best to alleviate their fears.
Understanding your rights
As you and your children work through this process, take the time to carefully consider your parental rights and what your goals are as you and your co-parent work out your parenting plan.