How to tell the kids you are getting a divorce

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce in Florida, you may be wondering what the best way is to tell your children. The thought of parents splitting up can be devastating for children of all ages, so it is important to set the stage in a positive manner from the beginning.

Before you tell the children, you and your spouse should discuss how each child may respond to the news. According to Very Well Family, the emotional impact will vary based on their ages. In general, younger children may not fully comprehend what is going on and worry that a divorce means their parents won't love them anymore. Children from around age eight to 12 often blame themselves for their parents breaking up, and teenagers may blame one parent more and be upset about how life is going to change. Overall, divorce may

  • Increase risk of anxiety and depression
  • Negatively affect school grades and attendance 
  • Increase issues related to behavior
  • Increase risk taking

Because the effects from divorce can last a long time, parents should be sensitive to that fact when telling the kids. The Wellness University discusses the best ways to share the news. Ideally, both parents should sit down and give the news together. Keep a united front and be confident and positive. Rather than focus on the problem, talk about changes and how that can be a good thing. Keep in mind the children's ages and what their main concerns may be so you can address them appropriately. Be consistent in the message that your love for your children will never change and that none of it is their fault.

 

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Beverly L . Brennan A PARTNER AT MCLAUGHLIN & STERN, LLP - NAPLES, FLORIDA ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

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