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What to Tell Your Children About Why You’re Getting Divorced

It can be one of the most challenging conversations parents may ever need to have with their kids: explaining that you and their other parent are getting divorced. The news can come as a shock to kids, which is why it’s so important that you handle it properly to make sure you and your family maintain positive relationships in the months and years to come.

Below are some tips as you approach this conversation with your children:

  • Keep things general: No matter how old they are, your children do not need to know exactly why you and your spouse are divorcing — especially if adultery or other poor behaviors were contributing factors. Be general, saying things like, “Mom and dad just cannot get along and we don’t want to fight anymore.”
  • Ensure they know it’s not their fault: Above all else, make sure your kids know that your divorce has nothing to do with them or their actions. Focus the conversation on you and their other parent and never imply that your children caused — even indirectly — the problems between the two of you.
  • Encourage them to speak openly: Some children close themselves off when they learn their parents are getting divorced, often leading to long-term emotional issues. Reiterate with your kids that it’s OK for them to ask questions and share their fears or concerns about the divorce. Create an atmosphere of openness and honesty.

In addition, take some time to make sure you and your former spouse are on the same page when it comes to speaking with your kids. Try to agree on what you will say and not say during these conversations.

For further tips and advice when it comes to dissolving your marriage in Minnesota, speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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