Five Helpful Hints for Explaining Divorce to Your ChildrenMay 29, 2015
Five Helpful Hints for Explaining Divorce to Your Children.
Don’t wait for your children to ask questions
“Kids are very perceptive and will almost certainly know something’s wrong between Mum and Dad,” says Amanda Adeola, a specialist family lawyer at Teesside firm Macks Solicitors. “If they’re at the appropriate age to understand what’s happening, the sooner you talk to them and explain what’s going on, the less time they’ll have to worry.”
Always tell the truth – but that doesn’t mean you have to discuss everything related to the divorce
“With so much to take in, it’s vital for them to know they can trust what you’re telling them,” says Amanda. “However, there’s a balance to be struck between telling them what they need to know and burdening them with details they don’t. Explain in a child-friendly manner and don’t criticise or blame the other parent while doing so”
Don’t undermine the other parent or portray them negatively in the presence of the children
“However angry or bitter you feel towards your ex, he or she will continue playing a major part in your children’s lives,” says Amanda. “You can’t dismiss the other person’s role in the upbringing of the children. There’ll be occasions when you’ll both want to be present, such as graduations and weddings. So it’s better for everyone if you can keep things amicable.”
Tell your children what they can understand at their age and maturity level
“Every child is different,” says Amanda. “The way you tell them what’s happening and how much you say will depend on what they’re able to take in. But all children will need to feel loved, cared for and secure about the future. If there are financial matters involved, don’t discuss this or any other issues concerning your separation at all.”
Try to be open and calm
“You’ve got to focus on the children and explain it’s not their fault their parents are separating,” says Amanda. “Make sure they know they’ll now have two homes where their parents will love them.”
How can I make divorce easier for my children?
Coming to an agreement without going to court is always the best solution for all involved if at all possible, says Amanda.
“If you can’t agree, a judge who knows nothing about you, your children or your family will make those decisions for you and you’ll be stuck with it. So why not just do it yourself and take control of what matters to you most – your family!”