June 28, 2013

Having That Talk With Your Kids

Categories: Children in DivorceDivorceParents

353246_3186Well, perhaps not “that talk”, but breaking the news about your divorce to your children can be just as nerve-racking and unfortunately, this is something you have to do as a couple; together, rationally, calmly and as a united front.

Before sitting down to talk to your children, do a little preparation and think about the information you, as a couple, plan to share about your divorce. Remember your kids don’t need to be burdened with all the details of your divorce. What they need is an honest, simple, age-appropriate message that lets them know about a major change in their life and reassures them that they will continue to have two parents who love them and that they don’t bear any blame for their parents’ divorce.

If you need help developing a message, spend a little time working with a Child Specialist. He or she can help you develop a statement that is authentic and appropriate and can coach you on the best time(s) to have the talk and the reactions your children might have to the news.

The bad news is that talking to your kids about divorce doesn’t end with the initial talk. Allowing your children to talk about their thoughts and feelings is part of their healing process and, given that divorce is such an emotional event for all involved, it can seem like an almost impossible task. It falls on you as the parent to be the role models. If you have a positive outlook for the future and work on finding happiness despite your divorce, your children will too.

Your kids are also going to need your permission to feel sad, unhappy and even angry (even if it means they feel angry at you) and you, as the adult, are going to have to accept that they may say things that may be hurtful and not to take these expressions of emotion  personally. You are going to have to live up to the trust your children place in you. On the plus side, not every conversation needs to be or is going to be about divorce, there is always time to talk with your kids about their day, to play with them, to go to the movies and to be a family.


Bruce Cameron
Attorney, Cameron Law, PLLC

Bruce Cameron, JD, MS is a second career attorney, practicing Quaker, and advocate for small town law practices. His solo practice focuses exclusively on collaborative law and mediation with just a soup├žon of estate planning for excitement. Bruce believes that alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like collaborative law and mediation, are powerful positive means to reduce the destructive conflict typical of litigation. He has found that a little peacemaking tends to produce better outcomes for his clients. Learn more at www.CameronLawPllc.com

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