Ending any long-term relationship is difficult, even if it is in the best interests of the couple. The problem is that when a divorce happens and children are involved, everything is incredibly complicated. Children cannot properly understand what is happening in most cases so you want to be very careful as you tell them that mommy and daddy are getting a divorce. In order to help you out, here are some ways in which the blow can be cushioned, from the offices of Harrisburg divorce attorney Joshua Harshberger.
Write Out Ground Rules
Such an important conversation should simply not be left to chance. You want to sit down with your ex and write down rules that are going to be respected. Agree on exactly what you are going to say and remember that both of you are responsible. One of the most important things is to remember that you should not blame each other in front of the children, no matter what happens. If you simply cannot act civilized when together, just arrange separate conversations but be sure the exact same rules are followed.
Schedule The Talk
It is impossible to know how much time is going to be needed. Even so, you want to be sure at least one hour is available. You want to be sure the children have enough space and time to ask questions and react. Never schedule the talk before bedtime, while in a car, while at school or before you have to leave for work.
Is The Divorce A Reality?
Ask yourself this question before you talk to your children about the fact you want to get a divorce. Are you still trying to work things out? If so, it is a really bad idea to talk to the children since you only end up scaring them. If the two of you get back together, the scar will still be there.
Remember You Talk With A Child
Simply the fact that you say something does not actually mean the child hears the exact same thing. Young children tend to blame themselves when a divorce happens. You want to basically be sure you tell your child in a direct way that he/she is not to the reason. Also, remember that no matter what you are going to say, children are mostly interested in how a divorce will change their lives. Do offer plenty of reassurance that dad and mom will love them, no matter what happens!
Work Only Now Starts
The initial discussion is just the start. After you had that talk, the work you have to do is just starting. Your children will have to process everything that is happening. Extra attention and time will be necessary. The most important thing after the discussion is to be ready to answer questions, even if they are the same and you have to do it over and over again.
You want to be sure that the routine of the child is as unaffected as possible. Keep the child enrolled in the same school, do encourage play dates and drive your children to the exact same sports and after-school activities as before.