How to Discuss Separation or Divorce with Your Children

By Bob Matteucci

According to the American Psychological Association, our children often learn or know when something sad or scary happens, even if we try to shield them from it. And if we don’t talk to them about what is going on, they overestimate what is wrong or misunderstand what is happening. This is one of the reasons why Bob, in almost all cases, encourages clients to discuss the broad details of their divorce or separation to their children. 

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Divorce or Separation 

As a parent, you know what is best for your child, but if you need some ideas to help you figure out exactly what to tell your kids about your separation or divorce, here are a few tips: 

  • Focus on the future. Tell your kids what is happening now, and what you know will happen in the near future. Don’t dwell on the past, or try to predict the future. 
  • Only give them the details they need. Your kids don’t need to know the nitty-gritty details of why your relationship with their other parent failed. Be extra careful not to place blame for the relationship’s end on yourself or your partner. 
  • Reassure your children that they are loved and that the separation or divorce is not their fault.
  • Encourage your children to ask questions. Knowing exactly what and how much to share with your children is tricky, so encourage them to ask you any questions they have now and in the future. 
  • Be patient. You have had time to accept the fact that your relationship with your child’s other parent is ending. Your kids may have known something was going on, but the separation may shock them. Give them time to adjust and grieve their former family life. 
  • Seek professional help if needed. If you are struggling to talk to your children about separation or divorce, you may want to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor for you and, maybe, them.

It is important to remember that every child is different and will react to separation or divorce in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but following these tips can help make the process a little easier for everyone involved.

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion 

The only thing worse than talking to your children about divorce is not talking to them about divorce and letting them imagine the worst. It is often a difficult task, but it is something that needs to be done. 

As you take on this task — and face the many other challenges that come with getting a divorce and negotiating a child custody agreement — the Bob Matteucci is here for you. He is ready to help your family navigate this difficult time and begin to move forward with your lives. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. 

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.