It’s hard enough to prepare yourself for that thought, but if you have children, you need to consider their feelings as well. While it might seem like an impossible task, letting your children know how their lives will change in the near future is actually in the best interests.
3 Ways to Explain Your New Family DynamicIt’s not going to be easy, but it is necessary. Getting in front of your new situation will make it easier on everyone as time moves on.
Here are three tips to help you do just that.
Be HonestThe absolutely most important thing to remember when discussing the divorce and new co-parenting situation with your children is to never lie. Getting caught in a lie is the fastest way to lose the trust of your children.
Right from the start you need to be honest with them. You need to let them know how their lives with change, and you need to let them know they are not in any way the cause of the changes.
It’s also important to let them know that although you and your ex or soon-to-be ex aren’t a couple anymore, you both still love them.
Use Positive WordsNow is not the time to attack your ex. Your children might be expecting this talk, but they may not. Either way, they are sure to be a little uncomfortable.
While you and your ex may have lost your connection, you are still both Mom and Dad to your children. Attacking their other parent verbally is not going to make your children feel any better.
Additionally, you will want to speak positively about the future. When doing so though, always remember the first tip we’ve discussed: be honest while doing so.
Learn to ListenAs a parent you naturally want to always tell your children everything will be OK. You want to tell them you care about them and you want to share your experiences.
However, sometimes parents need to stop talking and instead listen. When you tell your children your family is going to change, they are sure to have a lot of questions. If you are always talking, they won’t be able to ask them.
Give your children a chance to ask questions and express their feelings. It will let you know how they are coping and it will also let them vent a little to the person they most trust in this world.
In SummaryWhen you have children and go through a divorce, your family dynamic is going to change. By being open with your children, you let them know that both parents will still be in their lives. You also get the chance to hear about how they feel and answer any questions they may have.
As long as you are honest, positive, and open to hearing their concerns and needs, you should be off to a great start with your new co-parenting lifestyle.
Tim Backes is the senior editor of Custody X Change, a parenting plan and custody calendar software solution.