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5 Tips to talking to kids about divorce

Divorce is devastating for families. Everyone suffers some emotional pain from it especially our children. Talking to children, may they be younger or older is difficult. These are a few tips you can use to talk to your children and help them transition into your family's new reality.

1. Separate your children from the divorce.

Listen, I know during divorce emotions are high and because emotions are high we might do things out of our hurts instead of our mind. My advice to you is to certain details of your divorce to yourself. Don’t argue with your ex in front of the children. Refrain yourself from making any derogatory comments about your ex to your children or in their presence. And don't use your children as messengers or spies.

2. Give them space

Like you, it will take your children time to work on their concerns and feelings. So give them time to do that. Take the time to listen to their concerns and feelings. Sometimes children blame themselves for their parent's separation, reassure them they are not the reason for your divorce. They will most likely have many questions, be honest with them, let them know things will change. Lovingly tell them the unadulterated truth to anything they need to know.

3. Provide stability

Human beings thrive when we have stability. This transitional phase is probably not the best time to change your children's routine. Try your best to keep a steady schedule and maintain your children’s routines and daily life. Giving them stability and familiarity can feel very grounding for them. After my divorce I kept my son and my daughter's schedules, who were only six and one at the time stable. They continued to have play dates with friends, I took them to the park regularly, played with them and made sure they get to spend time with their dad. It helped them to stay grounded.

4. Be consistent.

After your divorce, your children will most likely be slipping their time between two houses. If you are anything like me you will likely find it to be unbearable. My children were really young when I got divorced, I really did not feel comfortable letting them be anywhere without me even though it was only two weekends a month. I had to remind myself often they needed to be spend time with their dad. Because your children may be splitting their time between two houses, speak to your ex-about things like household rules, discipline, and family values ahead of time. Kids need to know you two might not be together but when it comes to their well being, you are on the same page.

5. Let your children lean on you.

After your divorce things will be emotionally hard for both you and the kids. Your children will need you more than ever. You will have a lot on your plate, try not to be too transparent about your feelings on the divorce. Try your best to make an effort to let your children know you are reliable, consistent and trustworthy so that they confide in you.

Sometimes you need to talk things through...

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