How to talk to your kids about divorce

Parents in Texas who are about to get a divorce are likely struggling with how to tell their children about the separation. Ideally, parents will get on the same page and come up with a way to talk to their kids about the divorce together. Even if parents are unable to do this, they should still refrain from blaming the other parent for the divorce. Saying negative things to kids about their parents will only confuse and upset them.

Be honest

Though your kids should not be involved in the disputes between you and your ex, you should still be honest when talking to your children. While parents should tailor what they say to the age of the child in terms of simplicity, they can be forthcoming while still being kid friendly.

Keeping things consistent between homes

It is normal and expected for children to have some difficulty coping with their parents’ separation, but there are things parents can do to ease the burden. It helps if you and your ex can agree on certain ground rules that will be in place whenever either of you has custody, such as a set bedtime or a limit on television time. Keeping a consistent routine minimizes the level of change and promotes stability in a child’s life.

Show your affection

It is very important when going through a divorce to assure your children that the divorce is not their fault and that you still love them. Saying “I love you” and showing physical affection by hugging your children or spending time around them should become a habit, if it was not already.

Encourage your child to express his or her feelings

Children of divorce may feel like their voice is not heard and like they are not getting a say in anything, particularly if the parents’ joint custody schedule causes some disruption to the children’s daily life. Parents should be patient with their children and encourage them to talk about how the divorce is making them feel. A family therapist may be able to facilitate this dialogue, whereas a family law attorney can help with other aspects of the divorce, such as creating a child custody schedule.

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
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