How To Talk To Your Children About Divorceby Wagner & Bloch
There is no easy way to tell your children that their parents have decided to part ways. Depending on their ages, they may not understand at all or, perhaps worse, may have known all along. Our best piece of advice, when possible, is to tell them together. When it comes from one parent, the facts can become skewed or the child may process it differently or blame one parent over the other ( “shoot the messenger”).
We also suggest trying to pick a time and date to tell them that is unremarkable. In other words, try not to tell them New Year’s Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving or right after school lets out for the summer. If they can remember the time and place that you tell them, it may trigger the memory to resurface year after year. Some couples choose to tell the children in the presence of a marriage therapist or the children’s counselor or therapist, if they can.
There is no way to know beforehand how your child or children will handle the news, and many different reactions are common. For this reason, it is important to be prepared for a variety of responses and to talk to any professionals who you think would be helpful, such as clergy, teachers, counselors, etc. At Wagner & Bloch, we also have plenty of resources and tools to help you with this process such as referrals to counselors, guidelines on parenting after a divorce, suggested parenting classes and more. If you would like to discuss your options, please give us a call at 513.751.4420.