When you make the difficult decision to end your marriage, you know that this choice will impact multiple areas of your life at once. As you navigate the changes you will experience and other factors, you also know that you will need to address this matter with your children. They need to know what is going on and what to expect from the next weeks and months of their lives. It is important to be thoughtful and prepared when having this conversation.
Kids can experience both mental and emotional impacts when their parents divorce. Even if you and the other parent resolve to be amicable as you navigate this process, it is important to remain aware of the ways you can minimize the difficulty of this decision and its impact on your kids. The first step in this is to have an initial discussion with your kids about your divorce and what it means for them.
A critical conversation
This is an incredibly difficult conversation to have, regardless of how old your kids are or what you and your spouse have decided about your divorce. It is helpful to first consider how to best have this conversation and what you can do to minimize its potentially harmful impact. As you prepare for this discussion, the following may be helpful:
- Plan ahead of time what you will say and how you will start this conversation.
- Talk to all of your children at the same time so that everyone is on the same page.
- Consider their ages when telling them details of what to expect.
- Express details regarding the changes they can expect over the next weeks and months.
- Explain why this is happening and make sure they understand it is not their fault.
- Tell your kids if they will have to move or if one parent will move out of the home.
- Reassure your kids that the divorce does not change your commitment to being loving and involved parents.
A thoughtful approach to this conversation may be beneficial as you consider how to protect your kids from stress while providing them with the information they need and deserve. Age-appropriate, honest and straightforward conversations about a North Carolina divorce can help your kids mentally and emotionally prepare for what is ahead. This may reduce stress and provide more stability as they go through different transitions in their daily lives.