If you’re going through a divorce in Maryland or have recently done so, you know how stressful and difficult a divorce can be. And while it certainly takes a toll on the couple, it’s also tough on children.
Managing a divorce involves handling the family law legal issues that may come up. But it also involves dealing with the emotional impact in as healthy a way as possible, which means talking with your children about the divorce.
Honesty is key
To have productive, healthy discussions with your children, the conversations must be honest. And that’s a two-way street – You need to encourage honesty from your kids while also being as honest as possible yourself.
That doesn’t mean oversharing. Obviously, some topics may be too adult or sensitive to share with your children. But within the context of topics they can understand, be open about what the family is going through.
Sometimes, children can be hesitant about sharing their feelings about fraught topics like divorce. Make a point of reassuring your kids that they can share their opinions and feelings freely, without fear.
Make sure to be empathetic and supportive
When you talk with your children about the divorce or any issues surrounding it, look for cues in their responses that give insight into how they’re thinking and feeling. These may be obvious or more subtle, but given your relationship with your kids you should have a good baseline for understanding them.
Try to draw them out to discuss the issues or feelings that seem most important to them. And as you have these conversations, always make sure to follow up on the theme that you love your children very much and that you’ll be there for each other both now and in the future.
Talking with your children about divorce can be difficult, but it’s crucial to make sure your kids get through the divorce in good shape. Honestly, empathy and love are the keys to having tough conversations within a family.