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Discussing your impending divorce with your children

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Family Law

While it may be tough for adults in North Dakota to process all the varied emotions that arise when they get divorced, it’s even more arduous for their kids. Young children can’t always fathom what is going on, even when it’s explained to them patiently and age-appropriately. Older kids, especially teens, may be angry about this massive and bewildering disruption in their family life. 

Your kids might unfairly heap blame upon one parent or the other for the breakup. It can be extremely hard for them to understand why their mom or dad no longer resides with the rest of the family. Celebrations such as birthdays and holidays can suddenly be fraught with arguments and thorny decisions about who will be included and where the occasion will take place.

Even though you are immersed in all the big changes in your own life, you still have a responsibility to steer your children safely through this traumatic period. It’s your duty as a parent to make sure that they are alright.

Talking them through it is a key first step. Tips from professionals can make the task easier.

Having this challenging conversation with your kids

Don’t have this important talk with your children off the cuff. Think very carefully about what you should say and exactly how you want to state it.

  • Refrain from speaking negatively about your soon-to-be former spouse. That only puts the kids in an awkward position.
  • Try to respond candidly to their concerns about things like their new living arrangements.
  • Let them know that both of you will always be their parents and love them the same way as before.
  • Be a steady, calming influence in their lives at this time of change and turmoil.
  • Talk to your kids when they are all together and alongside your spouse if that is possible.

Moving forward

It’s normal for your children to seek clarity about the end of their parents’ marital relationship. You may want clarity for yourself about the legal aspects of your divorce.