When it comes time to tell your children about your divorce, you need to walk a very fine line. You shouldn’t lie to your children but you definitely don’t want to give them details that they aren’t ready for.
When you prepare yourself for the talk, make sure you have a game plan going in.
The following tips may help:
- Present a unified front. One of the biggest fears that children have is that they will lose one or both of you because of the divorce. You need to show them that when it comes to parenting them, you still act as a unit. It also helps you and your spouse because if you start sending conflicting messages to your child then things are going to get complicated very quickly.
- Limit how much you tell them. You shouldn’t try to lie or sugar coat what is happening in a divorce. Your children need to have a good idea of what is going on so that they can come to terms with it. But that doesn’t mean that you should tell them all of the grisly details that are better left to adults. Make sure you keep the focus on your kids and their needs instead of on you and yours.
- Play nice. Try your best not to blame or bad mouth your spouse in front of the kids. You may think it will be a good way to get them onto your side but it is a bad idea for two reasons:
- If you are trying to get them on your side then it means you are planning to use them against your spouse in some way and that puts your children in a very bad situation.
- It usually backfires. Children are smart and when they realize what you are doing they will start to resent you.