Learning the best ways to tell children about an impending divorce is important for parents in Texas.
San Antonio parents who have made the tough decision to end their marriage know that the hard times are not over. One of the many challenges still ahead is telling their children about the divorce and helping kids as the process continues. The number of children and ages of each child can make a big difference as to what is said, when it is said and how it is said.
Breaking the news
Psychology Today indicates that families with more than one child should hold a family meeting to initially give kids the news that the parents will be divorcing. This is recommended even when there is a great age difference between the siblings. Doing this puts all children on equal footing at the start and avoids any one child from keeping the secret until others are told.
After all of the children have been told about the impending divorce, then it is time for parents to have individual conversations with them. The nature of these conversations will depend on the nature and age of each individual child.
Teenagers, for example, will have a greater ability to comprehend the situation and their own emotions, yet they could be the least likely to want to talk about it. Today's Parent encourages moms and dads not to let these kids push them away. Without forcing them to talk when they don't want to, parents should let their teens know they are always available to talk if and when they need.
At the other end of the spectrum are preschoolers. Their limited ability to grasp the full situation or identify their feelings does not negate the reality that they will need and want to talk about things-a lot. For these young children, however, conversations will and should focus on practical matters. Where will they live? Who will make them breakfast? Who will tuck them into bed at night? Who will pick them up from school?
For children in-between the younger and older age groups, parents should take special care to watch for signs that they attempt to blame someone-including themselves-for the divorce. Talking with these kids in ways that reinforces the relationships with both parents is a helpful way to avoid this, as is directly telling kids they are not at fault for the breakup of the marriage.
Keeping bonds strong
To that end, it is important to keep the relationships with both parents as strong as possible. One way to do this, according to the Huffington Post, is to avoid any limitations on communication between kids and parents. When at mom's house, kids should be able to text, chat or talk with dad anytime and vice versa.
When to find help
The time to get help is when a divorce becomes imminent and the best help to seek first is that of an attorney. The right guidance from the outset with all legal matters can allow Texas parents to focus on their kids.