10 Things to Discuss with your Children during your Minneapolis Divorce
The process of divorce can be challenging for parents and children alike. While you are working out all the details with your spouse about custody, visitation, and even finances, one of the biggest concerns for any parent is helping their children navigate their divorce. Our list of 10 things of what to talk about with your children will help your entire family walk through your Minneapolis divorce.
It’s important to help your kids understand that what they are going through and what they are feeling is normal. There are LOTS of other children whose parents are divorced, re-married or never were married. They are not alone when it comes to having parents who are divorced, separated, or never-married. It’s important to set their new normal - that they will always have their family, just living in two homes.
#2: All feelings are OK
It’s important for you, as parents, to not judge your children’s’ feelings. Let them know that they may experience a variety of feelings and that having these feelings are OK. They may feel worried, confused, afraid, relieved, guilty, sad, angry, or ashamed. Let them know it’s OK to cry and let you know that they are sad. Lastly, let them know that it’s OK to feel frustrated and ask questions.
#3: Questions are OK
Let your kids know that It’s OK for kids to wonder why their parents are getting divorced – and to give them the freedom to ask why. Help them understand they may not get a very good answer…or may get many answers…and the answers might change over time. As the parent, giving answers that are all-encompassing and stress that you will always be a family can be helpful to your kids. Parents need to welcome their children’s questions, and to be patient and answer them as best they can.
#4: It’s Not Anyone’s Fault
Be sure to emphasize that It is NOT OK to think that the “why” had or has anything to do with them (your children). It doesn’t. Divorce is a grown up decision that grown ups make for themselves. This can’t be overemphasized. We recommend parents reiterate this in words and actions – always.
#5: Divorce is Difficult for Everyone
It is important to tell your children that their parents are going through a difficult time too…they might have the same feelings the children have and may be crabby and cranky just like them.
#6: Getting Back Together
It’s OK for children to wish and fantasize that their parents will get back together…but it probably won’t happen. Most parents do not get back together…but most kids wish it from time to time.
Be sure to remind your children that divorce is new for everyone in the family, so there will be lots of adjustments.
#8: It’s a process
Let your kids know that divorce is a process and it’s ongoing. Children’s feelings will change over time – keep talking about them, good or bad.
#9: It will be OK
As hard as it may seem, children will be OK. They are amazingly resilient, when given the right tools. Even though divorce can involve a whole series of transitions, at some point it will all calm down and a new normal will set in.
#10: Maintain Good Relationships
Parents are there for their children always and forever. As a parent, continue to make every effort to stay involved in your children’s lives. Never give up. One of the best ways to do this is to maintain a good relationship with the other parent.
Helping your children navigate through your divorce takes intention and an investment of time as your continue to talk with your children about these topics. We’re here to help. If you are considering divorce, we offer a free divorce information session to help you learn more.