No two Colorado families are exactly the same. Your parenting style may be quite different from your neighbor's. Then again, you may find you have similar ideas regarding how to raise children and, in particular, how to talk to them about important issues, such as divorce. It is no secret that many parents will be having such discussions with their kids this year.
If you're one of them, you may want to consider these practical ideas to help your children cope in the healthiest way possible. Depending on the age ranges of your children, what you do and say might vary; therefore, if you have both toddler-age and teenage children in your family, you may want to speak to your kids separately in addition to having a family discussion.
Stick to basics
You don't want to overwhelm your children with information they are not able to process. Adult matters should stay between adults. That said, the following tips are useful when determining what you should and shouldn't say to your kids when talking about divorce:
- They need to know that their parents are no longer going to live under one roof, unless, of course, you are still going to share a home, which more and more spouses are doing nowadays.
- Key factors to help your kids cope, no matter what their ages, is to tell them you love them and that your divorce is not their fault.
- If you feel yourself tempted to start talking about marital problems with your kids, you might want to take a break from your discussion until you can gather your thoughts and present the situation in a simpler fashion.
- General statements regarding parents deciding it's best for everyone if they're no longer married are best.
Reassurance goes a long way
In addition to telling your kids aloud that you love them and that they're not to blame for your marital problems, the following types of statements can also help them feel better:
- Remind them that both of their parents will still be active in their lives.
- Explain that there are support systems available to help you all adapt to your new lifestyle.
- Provide examples of other families your kids know who have successfully moved on since a divorce took place in their households.
Let your kids know they can tell you anything, even if they are feeling angry or sad.
Don't neglect your own needs
Like most good Colorado parents, you're central focus is making sure your children's best interests are served during divorce proceedings. However, in order to be there for your kids, you have to be strong as well, so it is equally critical that you reach out for support, as needed, to help you with emotional trauma, financial issues or legal problems that arise.