Divorce under any given set of circumstances is tough. If you have children together, one of the toughest conversations you can ever have with them is about your divorce. This is especially true because divorce impacts children in a variety of ways.
Fortunately, you can take certain steps to help your children cope with your divorce – and this starts by talking to them. Here are costly mistakes you want to avoid during this conversation:
Putting your ex down in front of the kids
Your ex may no longer be your favorite human being. But they are still your children’s parent. Talking your ex down in front of the children amounts to parental alienation. Besides riddling children with guilt and confusion, this can greatly hurt your case.
Rallying kids to take sides
While divorce is clearly an adults’ affair, it is not uncommon for children to find themselves caught up in the fight. Often, this leaves them torn between the parents. Consequently, they feel guilty, afraid and confused. Of course, they may express their feelings (and you should encourage them to do this). However, do not put them in an awkward position of choosing between dad and mom.
Feeding kids too much information
It could be true that your ex was abusive or had an affair. However, sharing these facts with the kids could be counterproductive. Whereas honesty is crucial when talking to the kids about divorce, it’s important that you do not bombard them with information that they cannot bear. Talk to adults about adult stuff, and kids about kids’ stuff.
Divorce can be very complicated when children are involved. However, understanding what you can share with children (and what you cannot) can help you protect everyone’s interests during the divorce process.