Kids are full of questions about a variety of topics and when their parents are going through a divorce, it is no different. Having to tell your children that you and your spouse are splitting up can be one of the toughest things you’ll do as a parent. Unfortunately, you’ll also need to be prepared to answer a plethora of questions after you tell your children, too.
— “Why?” has to be one of the most difficult questions to answer, simply because you’re still trying to figure out what happened. One of the best responses you can give — or some variation of it — is simply because “Mommy and Daddy can’t be happy together.”
— “Is it my fault?” This is another one that is hard to hear, but it’s also very common. You must reassure your children that the divorce is not because of them or anything they did or didn’t do.
— “When?” Kids want to know when their life will change. Knowing the timeline when moving will make it easier for the children to begin to adjust.
— “Who will I live with?” Children don’t want to hear about all the different child custody plans. They only want to know which parent they will be living with for most of the time. Later, they will come to realize that the other parent will still be in their lives and will want to know more about the visitation schedule.
— “What if a divorce is not what I want?” Children often hope that telling you that they don’t want you two to get divorced, they can somehow magically change the outcome. Focus on the new life you and the children will have instead of what they might be missing.
In some cases, a therapist may be needed to help both you and your children cope with the massive changes your lives will soon undergo. A lawyer who is experienced in divorce should be able to recommend one that will meet your needs.
Source: Huffington Post, “10 Questions Kids Have About Divorce… and How to Answer Them,” Michela Montgomery, April 20, 2016