How to prepare for the divorce talk with kids

There are many plans and processes to think about when ending a marriage. For parents, figuring out how to tell the children about the split is a significant decision that often involves some planning. Dealing appropriately with this important moment can be beneficial in family law, as it shows maturity and a willingness to put the children’s interests above the adults’ in a situation. Of course, the most important benefit is that children are given the best possible opportunity to emotionally navigate what will be a big change in their lives. Here are a few tips for North Carolina parents preparing to share the news with their children: 

  • Be age-appropriate: The conversation a parent will have with a 4-year-old and 14-year-old about the divorce will understandably be different. Consider what is and isn’t appropriate for the child’s age when planning the discussion as well as what issues might matter most to the kids in accordance with their age. 
  • Keep the conversation focused on the child: Rather than discussing the reasons for the split or issues that pertain to the adults, focus the conversation on reassuring the children that steps are being taken to minimize the impact of the change on them. Make sure they emerge from the conversation feeling safe and secure. 
  • Maintain a consistent message between parents: It can greatly improve the sense of security a child feels when they know both parents are on their side, and that they both care primarily about the child’s best interests. If possible, agreeing to some key phrases or strategies can make a big difference in navigating future conversations and questions from the child. 

At the heart of all these tips is the importance of putting the children’s interests first. This is an important principal in both child psychology and family law, and is an important principle to keep in mind. For detailed information on how best to navigate issues regarding divorce and kids, it is important to speak to a North Carolina family lawyer. 

 

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