Telling kids about divorce: Strategies for parents in Arkansas

There are several strategies parents should use to help their children cope with the news of their parents’ impending divorce.

Many parents in Arkansas have fears about how their children will react when they tell them about their impending divorce. Although divorce is rarely easy on children, parents can help their children cope with the news by employing several strategies before and after the initial conversation.

During the conversation

Before telling their children about their divorce, parents should plan on presenting a unified front. This will communicate that both parents are still active participants in their children’s lives and they are still in charge. During this conversation, parents should also:

  • Explain simply – Regardless of the ages of their children, parents should give their children simple, factual information about their plans to end their marriage. Children do not need to know all the minor details that led up to this point.
  • Encourage sharing-Parents should expect their children to have a lot of emotions and questions about the upcoming divorce. For this reason, parents should listen and be as supportive and comforting as possible.
  • Explain the positivity of change-Many children feel rattled and uneasy when their parents divorce because it is a huge transition. To minimize this uneasiness, parents should emphasize that some things will never change to their children, like that they still have two parents who love them.

Parents may also want to write out a script before telling their children about their upcoming divorce so they can stick to the main talking points most important to them.

After the discussion

How children adjust to their parents divorce often depends on how their parents handle the situation. After parents tell their children they are getting divorced, they should never speak poorly about their former spouse in front of their children and should refrain from forcing their children to choose sides. Parents should also avoid trying to get information from their children about the other parent and never use their children as pawns to harm the other parent.

Parents should also be firm about upholding the rules of their household, even if they want to give in to their children during the divorce process. This can help children feel more secure as they endure the changes of their parents’ relationship.

Seek an attorney’s assistance

During the divorce process in Arkansas, parents want to make sure the best interests of their children are fully protected. To ensure this happens, those planning on getting a divorce may benefit from reaching out to an attorney for assistance.