Colorado parents understand that life changes may have negative or positive impacts upon their children. Like most children, your kids are likely quite adaptable and resilient for the most part; however, that doesn’t mean that certain life experiences won’t cause them stress. For instance, if you are preparing to tell your kids that you’re getting divorced, you’ll want to have some definite plans in mind for ways to help them cope.
You and your spouse will no longer be together in marriage, but you will always have a relationship together as parents. By discussing the matter ahead of time and considering ideas that have helped other parents in the past, you can provide strong support for your children as they adapt to a new lifestyle.
The first conversation
You and your spouse may find that combining your efforts is a good way to break the news of your impending divorce to your kids. You can use the following practical tips to broach the topic:
- If possible, both parents should be present when telling kids that a divorce is going to occur.
- Never assume that your kids understand that your marriage problems or divorce is not their fault. They need to hear you and your spouse say that out loud.
- Allowing your kids ample opportunity to express their own feelings helps them learn to cope with their emotions and process the life changes that are taking place.
Understanding that your kids may react differently from one another is key to knowing how to support each one. One child may get angry, another may feel sad, and you may notice an older child exhibiting regressive behaviors.
As time goes on
Once you have explained the situation to your kids, you’ll want to make yourself available to them as they learn to adapt to a new lifestyle. The next list includes practical ways to show your support:
- Avoid burdening your children with adult problems. If you and your ex disagree about a parenting issue, keep it private or seek adult support to help you resolve it.
- Also avoid speaking negatively about each other in front of your kids. It almost always makes things worse because children get confused about where their loyalties should lie or whether they are allowed speak affectionately about one parent in front of the other.
- It helps to be mindful of the fact that parents do not divorce their children.
At the same time, it can be quite difficult to enjoy your parent/child relationships if your former spouse is trying to undermine your parental rights or is otherwise trying to impede your ability to spend time with your kids or to parent the way you see fit. In similar circumstances in the past, other Colorado parents have sought immediate legal support rather than try to battle through such problems on their own.