North Carolina parents who are going through a divorce may want to consider some advice about how to talk to their kids about the separation. Divorce is always an emotional challenge, and many parents have the tendency to say negative things about each other to their children. Parents should fight this urge as it puts the children in an uncomfortable situation of feeling like they must choose between their parents. Additionally, children may internalize the insults.
Instead, parents should try to reach decisions together before discussing them with their children. For starters, parents should discuss what they want to tell their kids as to the reason for the separation. Parents should not overshare any personal details, but it is a good idea to give a very general explanation of what happened, such as, “We get along better when we are not in a relationship.” Being open with kids encourages them to open up in return, which is something parents should always encourage their kids to do during a divorce.
Parents should provide their children with frequent reassurance and explain that a divorce does not mean that either parent loves them any less. It is also good to tell children that the divorce is not their fault and that things will get better. Allowing children the space to grieve and to talk about feelings openly and honestly is vital to helping them handle the new challenges they will be facing, such as having to split their time between parents.
If parents feel that they are unable to have a united front when talking with their children, it may help to involve a professional. A therapist may help parents figure out a way to present the news of a divorce to their children. A family law attorney may help with the more technical details, like creating a child custody schedule.