Preparation - What
to Tell Your Kids
WHAT TO TELL YOUR KIDS
When it comes to interacting with young children during divorce,
communication is everything. First, it is important to talk in
a direct and honest manner. For example, emphasize that divorce
is final and reconciliation is not possible. This is so important
because young children have a tendency to think that if they wish
hard enough, mommy and daddy will get back together.
Next, make sure you repeatedly reassure your children that the
divorce is not their fault. As such, emphasize that the divorce
has nothing to do with anything they did or said, but rather that
mommy and daddy cannot continue to live together. Let your children
know that although their parents are separating, they will always
have a mommy and a daddy. Further, the fact that mommy and daddy
no longer love each other does not mean either of them will ever
stop loving their children.
Children also need to be reassured that structure and stability
will continue. Tell your children that one of their parents will
always be there when they wake up in the morning make their meals,
pick them up from school, etcetera. Let your children know that
even though mommy and daddy will now live separately, both residences
will be comfortable and loving environments filled with toys and
other belongings that are familiar.
Lastly, encourage your children to talk about their feelings.
Let your children know that you understand if they are sad or angry
and that it’s okay to cry. Try to set aside time for your
children to talk with you one on one, ask questions, express their
concerns, and vent, if need be.
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