Talking to Kids about Divorce: Part II

In our last article about talking to kids about divorce, we explored the importance of being kind to your spouse, giving your kids a consistent routine, and a bit about how and when to begin the discussion with your kids. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the specifics that you should communicate, and the benefits of having a professional help you talk with your kids.

Consider a therapist to help your kids and your family cope.

Kids are naturally going to have a lot of questions and strong feelings about a separation or divorce. While you can help answer many of those questions and begin to help your kids deal with the overwhelming feelings, there’s a point when you may be too emotionally involved to be objective enough to help your kids, or when your kids may need help that would benefit from a professional level of intervention.

Don’t feel bad about involving a therapist to help your kids and your family cope with a divorce. You could all benefit from having a third-party help you work through some of the overwhelming feelings around a divorce, and communicate clearly in order to maintain a strong bond throughout the proceedings.

Be clear with your kids about your separation.

We’ve probably all seen the old movie “The Parent Trap.” Two kids of divorced parents plot to get their parents back together. While the movie took this sentiment to extremes, many children wonder if their parents will get back together, or try to convince them to stay together.

If you’re sure about your divorce, you must be clear with your kids about your separation and be firm about the divorce. Make sure they know that you and your spouse won’t be getting back together, but that you both still love the kids very much and will continue to be a part of their lives.

Make sure your kids know you love them.

The most important number one thing you need to communicate to kids over and over again during a divorce is that you love them. Make sure they know both their parents love them, and that you will continue to love them through the divorce and beyond. This is something that you can’t communicate too much, so don’t be afraid of saying it too frequently or overwhelming your kids with it.

Communicate to your kids that a divorce is not their fault.

Finally, you have to make sure your kids know that a divorce isn’t their fault. Children of all ages may wonder if they are the reason for a divorce, and you need to make sure they understand that a divorce is due to differences between you and your spouse, and not related to your kids. Remember not to abuse your spouse to your kids, and you don’t need to overwhelm them with specifics, but make sure they know that the reason you’re divorcing has nothing to do with them.