Finding the words to explain to your kids why you and your spouse are divorcing can be deeply upsetting and extremely difficult. In fact, the discussion may prove to be one of the most difficult that you have in your life. Preparing for this conversation is important. The most important think to remember is your children come first. Here are some tips for explaining divorce to children in 2020:
1. Talk to your kids with both parents present: It is important for your kids to see and understand that you and your spouse are still a team when it comes to their love for them. This is an incredibly important message for your children as they learn to live with the new reality of a newly defined family unit.
2. Be Honest: Being as honest as possible with your kids will go a long way to helping them understand what is happening and why you are making the decision to divorce. While there is no need to share anything negative about your spouse, it is important to share how you are feeling, that you understand how they feel and that you will be there for them.
3. Explain the details that you can about how logistics and day to day life will change: It is very normal for your child/children to be nervous and apprehensive about how their life will change once you and your spouse divorce. Spend time explaining exactly how you envision day to day life will change.
4. It can be extremely helpful to develop a parenting plan before you have this conversation with your kids so that you can share it with them and give them some tangible details that will help them grasp the unfamiliar. What will the weekday and weekend schedule look like? Will they need to change schools? It is also helpful to talk to them about the things that will not change – like your love for them, being with siblings (if applicable), being able to visit extended family, etc. Working with a mediator early in the process can help you settle on some of the specifics of your parenting agreement so that you can share these details with your kids as early as possible.
Navigate Your Divorce with Less Conflict
AMS Mediation specializes in helping families navigate the divorce process with less conflict and stress. We offer comprehensive mediation services, gichildrenving you and your soon to be ex-spouse a forum to establish a parenting plan and a plan for custody without having to go through the courts. For more information about our services and how to explain divorce to your kids in 2020, call us at 952.252.1492.