The decision to divorce comes with many unpleasant tasks: court dates. Financial reviews. An assessment of your estate. However, for divorcing parents, one task is usually dreaded above all others—telling their children that their parents will no longer be married.
A divorce can loom large in the mind of a child and even have lasting effects on a person into adulthood. With some consideration and care, however, parents can mindfully approach this conversation and ensure that this news is communicated with compassion and sensitivity. Let's take a look at some tips that every divorcing parent should consider before sitting down with their kids.
JOT IT DOWN
You shouldn't prepare a speech for your children, but sitting down before you speak to them and jotting down a few notes about what you will say and how you will phrase it can be helpful. You will likely answer a lot of questions for your child too, some of which you'll be able to anticipate while preparing notes.
PENCIL IT IN
Do your best (with your spouse, if possible) to schedule your talk with your children. It's hard to anticipate how long the discussion will take, but recognize that children will likely have questions and will be shocked or upset. You want to avoid bumping into bedtime during this process or other scheduled activities that will whisk your child away from the house before they have time to process the discussion or ask the questions they want to.
When talking to upset children, it can be tempting to sugarcoat certain realities so that they, too, do not dread them. This is ill-advised. Confront the hard truths with your child during this first talk so that you later do not have to correct them and recalibrate your child's expectations.
KNOW IT'S MORE THAN ONE CONVERSATION
No matter how thorough or careful your talk with your child is, remember that this will be a process for everyone and there will likely be more questions and concerns from your children as it proceeds. Patience is key here, as is recognizing that your children will best adapt knowing that they have their parents' attention, consideration, and love.
Divorce is always emotionally difficult, but it does not have to become a legal quagmire. At Audu Law Firm, Attorney Lilian Audu takes a compassionate and proactive approach to divorce and has navigated countless clients and families through this process with as little uncertainty and turbulence possible.
Call the firm today to speak with a Sugar Land divorce lawyer ready to make your and children’s interests a priority.