Discussing divorce and visitation with one’s children

The best way to let kids know that their parents are preparing to divorce is in a “family meeting” type of setting. Whenever possible, both parents should be present. The meeting should take place in a familiar and comfortable environment, without scheduling pressures on the back-end. This is not a talk that should be rushed by a softball practice or scout meeting. Leaving it open-ended also gives kids a chance to formulate questions at their own pace, without feeling rushed.

When discussing the reasons for the divorce, parents should strike a balance between being open and honest with their kids and avoiding burdening them with information that they do not have the ability to process. It is perfectly acceptable to express sadness about the change in family structure, because this allows children to see that it is OK for them to be sad, as well. It goes without saying that parents should be absolutely sure that reconciliation is not possible before breaking the news to their kids.

When preparing for this meeting, parents in New York should not feel as though they have to cover every aspect of the divorce and resulting visitation schedule in one sitting. It takes a number of discussions to fully prepare kids for the changes ahead, and it is important that parents are able and willing to revisit the matter whenever necessary. By remaining available and accessible to their children, parents are providing the love and support that kids need to adjust to the transition as it occurs.

Source: The Huffington Post, “9 Things To Consider Before Telling Your Kids About The Divorce“, Armin Brott, July 26, 2014

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