Logo
Call Now(480)305-8300

What to Say to Kids About Divorce

Posted on : February 14, 2017, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
What to Say to Kids About Divorce

What to Say to Kids About Divorce

It ‘s hard enough raising children in a loving and functional family environment but throws in a divorce, and the ensuing drama could take on a life of its own. Divorce is hard, and you may not know what to say to kids about divorce. It’s even more challenging when children are involved. What should you tell your children and how do you go about doing it? It may be the most difficult conversation you’ll ever have.

“This is a conversation that children will remember for the rest of their lives,” says M. Gary Neuman, author of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce. There is no perfect way to tell your children that Mommy and Daddy will not be living together anymore, but the following suggestions may help alleviate their fears and concerns. Tell them together as a couple. Children benefit from a united message delivered by both parents.

What to Say to Kids About Divorce?

What to Say to Kids About Divorce?

Talk to Your Children About the Divorce Together

It is important that they hear the same story from both of you to avoid any confusion. Map out a course of action and agree on what you’re going to say to them and how even if you disagree with everything else. Tailor your discussion according to your children’s maturity level. Something along the lines of, “We have decided that we cannot live together anymore and do not want to stay married. It has absolutely nothing to do with you; we both love you.

We are still and always will be Mom and Dad.” They may look at it as breaking up the family, but in reality, it’s more like reorganizing the family. It’s not your fault. It is vital that kids know that there is absolutely nothing they have done to cause their parents to decide to divorce.

Assure Your Children the Divorce is Not Their Fault

Younger children will tend to feel it’s their fault and may even blame themselves for the breakup. They may think, “if I keep my room extra clean,” or “if I study hard and do better in school,” that this will fix the problem. This is where Mommy and Daddy need to provide them with repeated reassurances that the divorce is an adult decision that stemmed from adult problems. It has nothing to do with them.

Sometimes things happen, and it is not their fault and that you love them just the same. Give reassurances of love and consistency. Let your kids know that both Mom and Dad love them and will continue to love them. Reassure them that even though the physical circumstances of the family will change they can continue with a loving relationship with both of their parents.

Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
A Google User
A Google User
20:31 20 Sep 17
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
A Google User
A Google User
21:41 07 Nov 17
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Google User
Google User
14:58 04 Oct 17
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
A Google User
A Google User
16:03 22 Nov 17
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
A Google User
A Google User
22:14 28 Jun 17
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
A Google User
A Google User
18:16 18 Sep 17
Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
A Google User
A Google User
19:22 23 Aug 17
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
A Google User
A Google User
17:44 23 Jun 16
I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
Bassam Ziadeh
Bassam Ziadeh
21:20 02 Apr 18
I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
Larry Flint
Larry Flint
21:53 27 Feb 18
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
Sam Franchimone
Sam Franchimone
22:09 12 Sep 13

Hildeband Law, PC.

Tell Your Children They Will Still See Both Parents

Also, let them know that even though some things will change, mom and dad will do their best to maintain the same daily routines. Anything that is staying the same needs to be communicated and reassured that these things will remain the same. “As much as possible, necessary mealtimes and other rituals should be the same between the two households,” says Isolina Ricci, a psychotherapist who wrote Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids, “continuing a child’s regular schedule makes children feel safe.”

The more things remain the same, the more stable your kids will feel. Be upfront and honest but spare the details. Older children most likely saw the signs and are not surprised circumstances have come to this. They will ask for more information about the divorce and how it will affect their lives. Be truthful and upfront but leave out the painful details. Tell them the basics – they will live with Mom sometimes and with Dad sometimes but they will see both parents every week. Also, reassure them that (ideally) you will be together for any extracurricular activities and some celebrations such as birthdays and graduations. Only promise what you can deliver.

Talking to your Kids About Divorce.

Talking to your Kids About Divorce.

 

Do Not Ask Your Children About The Other Parent

This is not a game of ‘I Spy.’ Remember that your goal is to avoid stress and pain for your kids. It is crucial and imperative that your kids are not put in the middle of Mom and Dad’s conflict; making them feel like they have to choose between you. Avoid interrogations when your kids return from the other parent. No matter how curious you may be, do not turn your children into spies.

Encourage them to love and respect the other parent no matter your feelings or emotions. There is no ‘bad’ parent; only two good parents that cannot remain married. You will get through this. Let your kids know that it is going to be okay – we’re all going to get through this together. Keep the dialogue open – continue offering reassurances and that you’re open to any questions at any time.

Create a Support Network for Your Children

If need be, let your children’s teachers, daycare providers, and friends’ parents know what is happening so that they can be an added support system. Telling your kids that mom and dad are getting a divorce may be the most difficult conversation you’ll ever have. It will take time for your children to process how they feel.

Reassurance of love and fairness will be remembered long after your children reach adulthood, “My parents have always been fair with me. Even though they were divorced, they were both always there for me. I love them for that.” When divorce changes the family dynamic and co-parents work together for the well-being of their kids, they are just as capable as parents in intact marriages, “I have grown up to be a very secure person. Both of my parents have always been there for me, and they both make time to talk to me together if that is what I need.” Keep talking, reassuring, and loving. And remember – you’re still mom and dad, and that will never change.



As Seen on CBS News, ABC News, NBC News, and Fox News

Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys, PC As Seen in the News.

Hildebrand Law, PC As Seen in the News.


What’s Hot – Blog