If you and your spouse have decided that a divorce is right for you, then you may have already sat down with your children to try to explain what’s going to happen next.
It’s unrealistic to think that your children won’t have opinions or be upset by the revelation that their world will be changing, but there are some things you can do to help calm the waters if that conversation did not go as you planned. Here are three tips to help your children adjust, even if they hate the idea of your divorce.
1. Sit down for another conversation
There is no hard and fast rule on how often to sit down with your children during a divorce or how often to have “meetings” to see how they’re doing. If your first sit-down conversation about the divorce did not go well, sit down with your children again. You may want to speak with each one separately to hear their individual concerns, or you might want another group discussion now that they’ve had some time to digest what’s happening.
2. Be clear about your expectations as well as what they should expect
Although this divorce is about ending your relationship, it has a significant impact on your children as well. Be clear about what your children should expect, such as moving out of the home or traveling for custody exchanges. You can also be clear about how you expect your children to act. Even if they’re unhappy, you can ask that they be respectful or helpful to either parent.
3. Be prepared to bring in the professionals
If the topic of your divorce sends your children into a spiral of tears and fears, you may want to bring in a professional. A good children’s or family therapist can help move the conversation in the right direction, give your children someone else to talk to outside your family and give you more peace of mind in knowing that you have support.
These are three tips that may help if your children are against your divorce and not adjusting well. With time, most children can adapt and will be able to get through this with a good outlook.