As we have discussed in a recent blog post, parents must do whatever it takes to put their children’s best interests ahead of anything else during a divorce. This is critical to keep in mind at every step of the process – beginning with telling the children about the divorce.
Informing your children about the divorce can be a difficult undertaking, causing stress for both parents. So, what should you consider to help you navigate this situation?
First, you must prepare yourself
While it is advisable to tell your child the news sooner rather than later – and ensure they hear the news from the two of you – you must also make sure you are ready to tell them. This may mean taking some time to prepare yourself mentally for this conversation.
You should also:
- Consider an approach that fits your child’s age and maturity level
- Ensure you understand the different ways your child could react to the news
- Be prepared to answer questions, especially about how the child’s life will change
This will not be an easy conversation. Although you cannot predict the outcome or your child’s response, preparing yourself can help you feel more confident.
How should you approach it?
Every family is different. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for Arizona parents to approach this conversation. But there are a few elements that should remain consistent across every parent’s approach:
- Be united: You and your spouse might not be getting along, even if you agreed to divorce. However, for your child’s benefit, you should find a way to tell them about the divorce together. After all, even in a divorce, both parents will still play a major role in the child’s life.
- Decide what to say beforehand: Children do not need to know all the details about the divorce, but it is important that whatever you do tell them is honest and straightforward. Preparing what to say in advance can also help parents maintain a cohesive message and front for their child.
- Reassure them: No matter the changes divorce may bring, parents should help their children feel secure. Children benefit from reminders that their parents’ love for them will not change, even if the family relationships are changing. Make sure they know, above all, that you are both committed to tmaking sure they will be okay.
Children will still need time to comprehend and adjust to their parents’ divorce but taking care to approach this conversation with the child’s best interests in mind can make all the difference as families move forward.