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Talking To Your Kids About Divorce



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hey Lauren and Rob here from this

incredible life and today we're going to

be sharing some tips with you on helping

kids understand divorce or separation

so it was not too long ago that Lauren

and I separated and we went through the

process of telling our kids that we were

separating and how their lives were

gonna change and the prospect of doing

that was terrifying we were very nervous

about it it was honestly one of the

scariest parts of the whole process so

today we are going to share what we

found to be the most helpful in the

process so I think the first thing to

consider and maybe it's not even really

a tip but it's just that the age of your

children does matter when you're telling

them our kids were 2 and 5 and so I mean

I think you can have some understanding

that they they might not understand the

whole situation as well as for example

like teenagers so I think you have to

understand your audience in terms of how

it is that you're going to approach

telling them one of the first things we

did was talk to a therapist just us not

with the children we talked to our

therapist to get ideas of how to tell

them and just things to consider the

therapist also told us that we didn't

need to take our kids to talk to their

own therapist because one thing that we

had thought yeah we thought we would do

that but they said that the kids were so

young going to a therapist would just

make the whole process seem kind of

bigger and scarier than it needed to be

kids at a different age might need a

therapist to help them work through

things on their own so just in general

getting the input from a professional to

help guide you through the process can

be very useful every situation is going

to be unique and so a therapist is going

to be able to help look at your

situation and figure out what it is that

are really the best way that you can

explain what's going on to your kids one

big tip is to agree on what to say to

your kids before you talk to them yeah I

think when you go through a separation

you end up having a lot of meetings

together

you need to have a meeting and sit down

and work on your message collaboratively

so you both feel comfortable with how

you're going to phrase it and what

you're going to tell them

classic divorce 101 is not speaking

negatively about each other to the kids

and also it's really important I think

when you're crafting that message not to

place blame on one partner or the other

which is actually can be challenging

especially when a divorce comes at the

choice of one person like myself and not

necessarily the other but the more that

you can work to remove any blame or

negative connotations I think the better

long-term the kids will feel about their

relationship with each partner

individually an important consideration

in telling your kids is when to actually

tell them and I think that what works

best is when your plans have actually

been finalized divorce or separation is

gonna really change kids lives a lot so

you want to make sure that when you tell

them that change is happening it's

actually gonna happen and through the

process kind of plans get changed back

and forth and all this sort of stuff so

we kind of waited until the dust had

settled a little bit and I had actually

like found an apartment I had moved my

stuff in so it was ready for them to go

and check it out which really helped

them kind of understand what was going

on rather than just this vague statement

about separation but they didn't really

know what that meant after figuring out

when to tell them the next thing to

consider is going to be how to actually

tell them and in our case what we ended

up doing is we we got a book from Amazon

that kind of explained you know what it

was going to be like in terms of there

being a house for mom and a house for

dad and they're going to be moving back

and forth so I think that and you know

that was really age-appropriate for our

kids so I think that helped them

visualize how things were going to

change the thing about that book that

made us

choose it was that it looked at it all

in a very positive light it wasn't scary

it wasn't intense it was just kind of

more talking about how the kid has two

homes and that was neat and there were

different things at the different homes

it's already going to be kind of

traumatic and scary enough having this

one positive message about how it's a

nice normal thing to have two homes I

think helps soften the blow a little bit

it was also really well rated to them

yes I am very obsessive about Amazon

readings and looking at reviews there's

lots of stuff online which i think is a

bonus tip is to go online there are so

many blogs and message boards about

divorce and children and figuring out

like schedules for kids there's

different like number systems apps

websites like this is a common enough

thing that other people are going

through it so you can find a lot of

resources online to help prepare you for

these big moments we'll link to the book

that we use below yes don't necessarily

expect a big reaction from your kids

especially for our kids age five and two

it was hard for them to comprehend what

we were telling them they had never

heard of divorce or separation before so

they didn't have any context so when we

told them that was happening it was

mostly confusing for them and they

didn't have a huge reaction on the

flipside actually telling your kids that

this is happening can be very very

emotional for you I know it was very

emotional for both of us to actually say

those words and make it feel more final

so going into that experience of telling

them you kind of have to remove a lot of

expectations and just let things happen

as they happen

and finally something to keep in mind is

that this is going to be an ongoing

conversation with your kids it's not

going to be a one-and-done say it once

explain it and then they're good the

they're gonna they need time to process

what's going on and they're going to

come back to you with questions and I

think that it requires a certain amount

of patience because they're probably

going to ask you that I know that our

kids have asked us the same questions

over and over again and you know the big

one for us is why didn't we want to be

partners anymore anymore they still ask

me that they ask both of us that we tell

each other when they're asking us these

questions so that we can both be talking

to them about it if those little wonder

like questions are popping up for them

but like it's a year later and they were

still talking about it and I think as

they get older we will continue to talk

about it as their understanding changes

and their maturity changes and they want

to understand more and I think that it's

helpful to have them hearing the answers

from both of us you know we we've never

really had a like okay this is the line

that we're saying to them every time but

I think we communicate with each other

about what's going on and I think that

generally they're getting an idea of how

we both feel about it and that it's

generally positive and that it's not a

it's not a like it's not an opportunity

to blame somebody telling your kids that

you're getting a divorce is obviously

painful and scary and hard but in the

long run everyone can heal from it

everyone can support each other through

it and I think if you work as a team to

make sure that the experience is as

loving for everyone involved as possible

it can be okay okay it's not gonna be

great it's not a fun time Rob cried like

it was hard but it was okay we're okay

the kids are okay we're all okay

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okay if you have any tips for talking to

your kids about divorce maybe showing

that what that experience is like you

leave it in the comments below we'd love

to hear that if you enjoyed this video

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all sorts of things about divorce

separation kids family relationships and

we hope you find it useful thank you so

much for watching and have a great day

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