As estranged parents in Tennessee start getting ready to begin the divorce process, they will need to speak to their children about what is coming. The conversation can be hard on both the parents and the kids, but with some preparation and keeping the focus on the children’s well-being, parents should be able to help their children during this moment.
Work together as a team to reassure the kids
Before speaking to the kids about the split, parents should discuss when, how and how much they want to tell them. The best time to talk to the kids should be a day when they will have time to think about their parents’ news and process the information. A regular weekend day might work. If possible, parents should agree to sit together with all the kids at the same time and then tell them, in general terms, why they are getting divorced and about the things that will stay the same and the things that will change. Having this conversation with both parents, without the parents blaming each other or arguing can reassure the children that even if their parents are no longer together, they are still a family.
Keep the focus on the kids’ well-being
The conversations about the end of the marriage should still keep the focus on the children’s wellbeing. You can do this do in a variety of ways, including:
- Encouraging children to ask questions at the time and later
- Allowing them space for their reactions, which can be different depending on the child, and can also change over time
- Assuring the children that they will be able to continue their relationship with both parents, even if one of the parents is moving out
Divorce will be hard on all involved. However, it is important for parents to make sure that their kids feel supported and loved during this time.