If you and your spouse are preparing for a divorce, you're going to have to have a hard conversation with your kids. Even though this might not be something that you're looking forward to, it's important to handle this conversation in the best way that you can. These are a few things that you shouldn't do when having the divorce conversation with your children.
As a parent, it's natural to want to protect your children. Plus, you're going through a lot right now, too, so you may not want to deal with any more than you have to. This can possibly lead you to fibbing to your children about what is going on. Even though you might be tempted to just tell them that "daddy is going to be working out of town for a while" or something similar, it's important to be honest with your kids. They're going to know that something is going on, and you're only going to extend the hurt. By being honest now, you can start helping your kids heal now.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you have to give them all of the details. Being honest about the fact that the family is going to be changing in a major way is important, as long as you talk about it in an age-appropriate way. Talk to a child custody lawyer about your custody agreements post-divorce so you can give the children an idea of where they will be living.
It's a good idea if you and your spouse can sit down and talk to the kids together about the divorce. With all of the emotions that might be going on between the two of you, it might be easy for the conversation to erupt into a big argument. However, this can make things even more frightening and upsetting for your child. Even if you aren't able to get along well with one another, banding together to have a mature, argument-free conversation with the kids about the divorce is important.
You may be tempted to try to downplay the situation as if it's not a big deal when you're talking to your kids. However, you have to understand that your children might feel as if their entire world is falling apart. Being understanding of their emotions and trying to comfort them as much as you can is important when having this difficult conversation. After all, even if you pretend that the whole thing isn't a big deal, the truth is that the divorce is probably bringing very big changes for your family and everyone in it.