Divorcing parents need to work together for the good of their children. Here are five key things to do right away to help your children through the changes your divorce will bring.
1. Work Together to Decide How to Tell Your Kids About the Divorce
As divorcing parents, you need to be on the same page about what you plan to tell your children. As hard as it might be right now to imagine having this conversation together, it's imperative that you decide exactly what details to share before you sit down and tell the kids.
2. Decide When You're Going to Tell Your Children About the Divorce
It may seem like there's never going to be a "good time" to tell your children about the divorce. However, it's important to be sensitive to your kids' needs and schedules and to choose a time when you'll each be able to process the information before sharing it with extended family members, friends, and teachers.
3. Anticipate the Questions Your Kids Will Ask
Being able to provide concrete information will ease your kids' anxieties and help them to begin to envision what your lives will be like once the divorce is finalized.
4. Learn About the Effects of Divorce on Children
Divorce impacts children differently according to their ages and their understanding of what is happening. Make sure that you're prepared in advance by learning about the effects of divorce on children at every stage, from infancy through the teenage years.
5. Commit to Helping Your Children Adjust to the Divorce
Like it or not, as divorcing parents, you're a team. Your children will need the love and presence of both of you as they adjust to what will eventually become a "new normal." Make a commitment from the beginning to be there for them and to work together on their behalf.