5 Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Children for Your Divorce
The end of a marriage brings changes that can greatly affect children. How you deliver the news may impact how they react at home, in school, and throughout the divorce. Planning what you say and how you say can ease a child’s mind regarding their future. The following helpful tips can guide you as you prepare to inform your children of the divorce:
1. Deliver the News Together
Presenting a united front when it comes to telling the children about the divorce is the best option. The two-parent approach can reassure them that both parents remain committed to them — the children they share.
A conversation with all the children at the same time is another good option. Individual conversations with younger and older children can occur later, once they form questions or need reassurance. If the divorce is contentious, seek a mediator or help from a professional to assist you.
2. Avoid the Blame Game
Blaming or shaming a parent can cause children to feel caught in the middle of the divorce. Their love for both parents can create anxiety when one parent speaks negatively about the other.
While you may feel anger toward your spouse, refrain from diving too deep into the details of your divorce. Rather, seek an approach — and possibly a setting — that is neutral and calming for the children.
3. Address Any Upcoming Changes
A divorce brings changes to any family. Addressing the upcoming changes by including information about what will remain the same. Changes may include such adjustments as:
- Which parent will leave the home
- When and where your children see each spouse
- Where the children will live and if they will change schools
These are just a few of the concerns your children may express as they learn about the divorce. Keeping your children in the loop as things progress — and as appropriate — can ease their anxiety. Patience and reassurance that your love for them will never change are helpful as they process the news.
4. Consider Age Differences and Thought Processes
Children process news differently at different ages. Their age plays a significant role in how they may respond or handle the news. Developmental stages are an important factor when it comes to thought processes and children.
The following list of cognitive skills can serve as a guide for informing children of different ages about divorce:
- Birth to Age 5: A child may exhibit signs of anger, fear, and express behaviors including whining and trouble sleeping.
- Age 6 to Age 11: A child as young as 6 possesses a little more ability to think and talk about feelings. A 9 or 11-year-old child has relationships outside the family and may assign blame for the divorce.
- Age 12 to Age 14: This particular age group typically has a better understanding of divorce issues, begins seeking independence, and may express rebellion.
No matter what the age, reassurance that they are not at fault for the divorce is imperative for moving forward. The support of a counselor or therapist can help you and your children. Researching these types of options for possible assistance is valuable, should your child have a delayed reaction to the news.
5. Stick to a Routine
Strive to maintain a daily routine. Examples of activities that can provide stability for children include:
- Taking care of pets
- Afterschool activities
Schedule changes may occur due to circumstances beyond your control. Once again, reassuring your child as they adjust to a different routine is key to letting them know they are loved and not alone.
Divorce and the Impact on Children
A divorce is a highly emotional time for children. Taking a proactive approach can alleviate many of their fears. By implementing the steps listed above, you can provide the comfort and care your children will seek.
Protecting your best interests — and that of your children — is where a member of our team can help you. At The Pedrick Law Group, we represent divorce clients in Encino, Orange County, and the surrounding area.
Our knowledge of California divorce law serves clients as they enter a difficult phase of their lives. From the division of assets to custody issues, we stand by your side throughout the legal process.
The Pedrick Law Group: Helping Divorce Clients With Child Custody Issues
Preparing how, when, and where you will inform your children of your divorce is a vital step for their well-being. At the Pedrick Law Group, we understand how divorce affects children. We are happy to provide resources that may assist you with delivering life-changing news.
Standing firm in confirming your love for them is one of the most important steps you can take. The Pedrick Law Group can help you fight for the best outcome possible for your divorce. We have more than 50 years of combined family law experience handling cases from simple to complex.
Our team takes great pride in the customer service we provide clients. We return phone calls and keep you informed of the latest developments with your divorce. You are not alone as you enter this new phase of your life.
Children are often resilient yet — at the same time —can hide their emotions. How you approach telling them the news can significantly impact their future. Sticking to a familiar routine, reassuring them, avoiding the blame game, and other steps are helpful tools for parents.
The Pedrick Law Group has the negotiation and courtroom skills necessary for your divorce. We listen to our clients and learn about their children. As we learn about your situation, we can begin building your case for a fair settlement and custody agreement.
Divorce is never easy. at the Pedrick Law Group, we are here for you. To learn more and to get started with your divorce, contact us today.