If you are a parent going through a divorce, your children will likely have many questions and experience a variety of emotions, many of which you will also be feeling.
It is normal to be angry with your spouse. However, you must tread carefully when discussing these feelings with your children.
Avoid making them take sides
Your children have their own relationship with your spouse. If you talk badly to them about their other parent, your children may feel awkward or guilty about enjoying time with your spouse. They may even feel pressured to choose a side.
Avoiding negative talk about your soon-to-be ex-spouse can help your children maintain strong parental relationships on both sides and give them a sense of stability throughout your divorce.
Support their emotional needs
Divorce is always stressful for families. Remember that you are there to support your children, not the other way around. Venting about your spouse to your kids can make them feel responsible for your feelings and create additional stress.
Look for resources that can help
Your Parent Education and Family Stabilization class, which Florida requires for all divorcing parents, may give you some ideas for discussing your situation with your kids.
If you are struggling to find the right words, your children’s counselor, librarian or teacher might be able to recommend a book that explains divorce in an age-appropriate manner.
This is a stressful time for you and your child. You both feel strong emotions, all of which are valid. The way you address your feelings now will shape your child’s future relationships with you and your ex-spouse, so it is important to choose your words wisely and use the resources available to you.