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Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

Posted by Gossman Law Firm, LLC || 29-Nov-2016

Controlling the Few Factors You can in This Conversation

Among the many obstacles you will face in your upcoming divorce is the moment you have to utter the words to your children. Depending on their ages, children are familiar with this concept, as they have plenty of friends at school with divorced parents. They know it isn’t an ideal situation but also that families still make it work. They just think it won’t happen to their family until it does. Sometimes, this results in a fit of anger and confusion, sometimes in no reaction at all. In either case, it will be difficult.

There are factors you cannot control: your children’s reaction is chief among them. You can, however control the environment of the discussion and control your level of preparedness. Below are a few tips that may help you take charge of your delivery and be ready for what happens next.

  • Gather the entire family in one room, if possible: Delivering the news of your divorce to all of your children at once is desirable. This presents that the family is still in this together, no matter what happens next. You do, however, know your children better than anyone else, and if you are worried that one child’s reaction will negatively affect another’s, it may be more viable to tell that child individually.

  • In your delivery, use the pronoun “we”: Even if the decision to divorce is one-sided, using the pronoun “we” also relays the message to your children that you two can still be successful in maintaining a strong and happy family. Children, among all other things in this moment, want to be reassured that they are loved and will be taken care of by their parents. Continuity is everything.

  • Be prepared for any kind of reaction: Although reactions to this moment vary, there aren’t so many different possible ones that you could not imagine them all. Be ready for screaming, anger, crying, total silence, confusion, questions, happiness, or anything in between. It’s important to allow your children their respective reaction in order not to suppress their feelings, as this may cause long term, psychological damage in their future.

In this difficult time, it is most important to assert that your divorce is in no way the fault of your children, and that your children will continue to be loved by you and your soon to be ex-spouse. For any other help or information involving family law, contact the Gossman Law Firm, LLC to see how we can help protect the well-being of you and your family.

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