Divorces are, undoubtedly, one of the more difficult things some individuals have to go through in life. And if you and your spouse have children together, that seems to only make it harder. Aside from trying to keep your thoughts together and your ability to think through this tumultuous time, you may have been faced with the heartbreaking question, “Mommy, why is Daddy leaving?” And you didn’t know how to answer.
Because of the personal struggles many adults go through after accepting that their marriage is about to end, some aren’t sure how to address their children’s questions when asked. While every family has their own core beliefs on how much or how little a child should know, sometimes, we need a little more guidance on how to handle such matters when we aren’t at our best or don’t have the mental capacity to address the situation.
And because there are many individuals out there going through the same struggle, below we have shared with you a few ways to approach the topic of divorce with your children in the event you find you are having a difficult time doing so.
According to Suzanne Gelb, Ph.D., J.D., there are few general guidelines you can follow that will provide your children with the reassurance they need [Source: Psychology Today].
- Give them simple, factual explanations. Based on your child’s age, you have to be cognizant of the fact that they might not understand more difficult explanations. So, rather than confuse them even more, keep your communication with them simple, factual, and straightforward. Your child doesn’t exactly need to know all the details or stressful events that have led up to this point.
- Present a unified front. If possible, try and discuss the divorce when your ex-partner is present. This will give off the impression that you two are still present, available to communicate, and both very much in charge.
- Encourage your child to open up and share how they feel. Listen inventively and patiently when your child expresses themselves or makes an attempt to do so. Be supportive and comforting to them as they open up about how they feel.
- Explain that this change is a good one. You can inform your child that after this, there will be less fighting and more peace, as they likely witnessed some disagreements with you and your ex-partner in the months leading up to the divorce.
- Explain that some things will never change. Your child might be worried that because you and your ex-partner will no longer be together that you might love them less or won’t treat them the same. Remind them that although the separation is happening, both parents will always love them and be there for them.
Tackling divorce on your own is difficult which is why it is always a good idea to consider hiring an Atlanta divorce lawyer. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, you need someone along the way, guiding you, reminding you, and assisting you as this might be one of your harder feats to overcome.
If you have yet to find a divorce attorney in Atlanta, GA to help you, USAttorneys.com is here, offering free assistance to get you connected with some of the best professionals in the field.