How should parents tell kids about a divorce?

Pennsylvania parents can get help on how to break the news to kids of different ages about an impending divorce.

Most people in Pennsylvania who have experienced a divorce would likely agree that there is rarely anything easy about it. Some people need to move to new homes. Others must give up some of their most prized possessions. Everyone has to let go of their dreams and hopes for the future. When young children are involved, parents must also wrestle with how to break the news to their children.

One at a time or as a group?

This can be difficult for families with only one child as well as for families with multiple kids spanning a wide range of ages. In the latter situation, some parents may feel it is wise to tell each child about the divorceindividually. While this has some merit because children will process things differently based upon their ages, an article in Psychology Today recommends telling all kids together.

This approach avoids one child from shouldering the burden of being the only one to know or prevents the child last to know from feeling resentful about that fact. Everyone hears the same facts at the same time. Individual conversations can-and should-come after that.

Ongoing communication and contact

This first conversation, as with subsequent ones, should never find one parent blaming the other for theend of the marriage. Both parents should own the responsibility. Kids should not be tempted to align with one parent and this type of blame can do just that. The need to love and remain connected to both parents is just as strong when parents are divorced as when they are married.

To this end, the Huffington Post encourages parents to not place restrictions on communications between kids and parents. This means phone calls, texts or other means of staying in touch should be allowed to happen freely and naturally.

Understanding different developmental stages

As a divorce proceeds, parents will want to keep an eye on kids’ needs. Discussions with very young children should focus primarily on what they will directly experience. This includes where they will sleep, who will pick them up, who they will have dinner with and so forth. As kids age, attention should be given to the inclination to blame one parent or to even assume blame for the divorce themselves. Directly addressing these feelings by parents is recommended with strong assurance that the children were not the cause of the divorce.

Seek the right help

Managing one’s own emotions along with the needs of one’s children is a big task during a divorce. Pennsylvania parents in this situation should contact an attorney to get help with the legal elements of a divorce.