Telling the kids…

Mindful Co-parenting

Telling the kids about the divorce is a dreaded conversation.  Everyone is nervous and anxious and sometimes very angry.   Have a joint plan, practice it, and then implement it with love and flexibility because things never go as planned. The key is to avoid trauma and conflict.  Present a united front.

Let the kids see how two adults can respectfully make a conscious choice to end a relationship… It is a great example you can give to your children for handling future conflict in their lives.

Some tips for telling your children that you and your spouse plan to divorce.

Consult a counselor.

Ideally, first talk to a counselor familiar with children and their stages of development. Depending on the children’s ages, the way you tell them and the details you share may vary.

Have a plan and answer questions frankly.

Before you even sit down with the kids, come up with a plan for telling them. Be prepared to answer their questions in a frank, yet loving manner. Kids will want to know how their lives will be affected by the divorce. Address their concerns and answer them to the best of your ability. You might tell them, “Dad is going to live in another house and you will now enjoy time in 2 different homes.” If you do not know the answer, say so, but tell them you will work it out together.

Reiterate love for your children.

Begin and end the conversation by telling your kids that you love them and that nothing will ever change that. During this conversation and the upcoming rocky months ahead, ensure that you show them the love, support, and understanding they need as they learn to process everything that is happening. They will be grieving.  This is a huge loss to kids, expect fear, anger and disbelief.

Temper your personal hurts.

This is not the time to make spiteful or hateful remarks, or to pin blame on the other parent. Sure, you may be hurting and angry over the divorce, but your kids are not your sounding board.

Tell them together.

If you can be in the same room with your ex without arguing, tell the children together. This might help reinforce that you still care about each other and that nobody is asking the children to choose one side or the other.


Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.
ebl home subscribe image


Latest Blog Posts

Probate in Washington state is relatively straightforward, especially with the guidance of a Seattle estate planning attorney at your side. Here is what you need to know.

Unsure where to begin gathering the foundation you need to go through the divorce process with confidence and well-prepared? Consider the following 10 tips to prepare for divorce.

Everyone who has anyone in their life needs an estate plan, even people who own little or no property.

A common question about legal fees is why they are so high. The following article details what is built into legal fees and explains their cost.

Gifting an estate plan is an act of love because an estate plan goes far beyond material possessions, addressing the emotional, practical, and long-term well-being of your loved ones.

Prenuptial agreements (also known as prenups) can play a pivotal role in safeguarding individual spousal rights in the event of divorce and can also strengthen a marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be tricky for single parents, maybe even you. Unpartnered, at least for the time being, you might not foresee your plans fitting into conventional images of the holiday. But that doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day, when you’re single, can be more than a day you need to survive. It can be a day to look forward to.

Collaborative law has evolved into a globally practiced
discipline, extending well beyond the realm of family law, and is used frequently in Seattle divorces.

Classifying January as divorce month could be misleading, given how some of the numbers tell a different story. However, one thing remains clear: January is a great time for a fresh start.

A family law attorney can help with child custody (residential time) by creating or modifying a parenting plan.