Talking with Kids About Divorce

11:51 AM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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1. Confer with Your Former Partner Before You Tell the Kids About the Divorce

2. If at All Possible, Both Parents Should be Present When Telling the Kids

3. Remain Calm and Avoid Blaming

4. Provide a General Reason for What is Happening

5. Provide Specific Details About the Changes Your Kids Can Expect

6. Provide Specific Details About the Parent Who is Leaving the Home

7. Reassure the Children of Your Unconditional Love

8. Be Sensitive to How the Kids React to This News

9. Welcome Their Questions

10. Give Them Time to Adjust to the News

When to Tell the Children About Your Divorce 
Tell Your Children About Your Divorce When You Are Both Present 
Communicate a Unified Message 
Tell All of Your Children at the Same Time 
Have the Conversation in Person 
Respect Your Children's Need to Process the Information 

Additional Suggestions About Announcing Your Divorce to the Children 
  Make it Clear that You Are Both Still Their Parents 
  Be Intentional About the Language You Use 
  It's Okay to Show Some Emotion 

  When you choose to announce your divorce to your children is a personal decision, and it depends on many different factors. No matter how much planning you put into it, it will never go exactly "as planned." However, taking the time to think through how you will share the information, and how you can frame it in a way that lets your children know that they are loved and will continue to be cared for by both parents, will going a long way toward providing some much-needed reassurance and comfort.

The Clark Institute: Private Practice Psychotherapy
for Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Human Resource Associates
Matthew Clark, Psy.D.
(616) 458-0692


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