Telling children about divorce: Strategies for parents

There are several strategies parents should use while telling their children about their plans to get a divorce.

Divorce can be a highly emotional, logistically difficult process for many in Missouri, especially those with children. Not only do parents getting a divorce process worry about having enough time with their children after the divorce is finalized, but they may also have concerns about how their children will cope once they tell them about their plans to end their marriage. Here are some helpful strategies divorcing parents might want to try when they break the news to their children.

Tips for breaking the news

If at all possible, parents should tell their children about the impending divorce together and as a unified front. This can illustrate to children that their parents are still in communication with one another and in charge of the situation, which can be reassuring. Parents should also do the following:

  • While telling their children about the divorce, parents should encourage their children to share their feelings. Parents should listen patiently to their children and address their concerns.
  • Parents should affirm to their children that getting a divorce is a good thing for their family. Parents should also remind their children this change will bring a more peaceful chapter in their lives.
  • Many children feel rattled by the news of their parents' divorce because it is a huge transition in their lives. Parents should let their children know that while some things will change, other important things, like that they will always be a family, will never change.

Additionally, parents should remember that during the divorce process, their actions will speak louder to their children than their words. For this reason, parents should try to keep their children's routines in place and spend quality time with them.

Helping children cope

Once parents tell their children they are getting divorced, they should continue to help their children with this transition by using a few specific strategies. For example, parents should avoid confiding in their children about disagreements with their former spouse or financial troubles. Instead, they should talk to a close friend or therapist about their concerns. Parents should also refrain from making major changes in their children's lives and encourage their children to maintain the relationship they have with their father or mother.

Reach out to an attorney

Since divorce can be such a complex process, those in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas ending their marriage may struggle to cope emotionally while managing the administrative tasks associated with getting a divorce. Due to this, those who have plans to end their marriage should contact an attorney in their area for legal assistance and guidance.