Handling discussions with kids about divorce

Spokane parents getting divorced can help their kids by having age-appropriate conversations with them.

Spokane parents want to do the best they can for their kids. For most people this generally does not include having to tell them bad news. Yet, when a couple must get divorced the children have to be told. At this time, parents must find the best ways possible to let kids know about the changes that will happen and yet reassure them simultaneously.

Different kids, different needs

Helping kids feel secure and process their emotions during a divorce can be complex but is possible. It does not, however, require the same thing for all children. Individual personalities as well as maturity differences will vary the approach that parents should take.

According to Today's Parent, teens can be the hardest age group to reach as they are the most likely to pull away and refuse to talk. Despite a parent's understandable reaction to just let it be and not pursue the matter, that is not the best advice. Without forcing kids to talk, parents should remain active in their kids' lives so that kids know the door to discussion is always open.

On the other end, kids between the ages of three and five will generally not be able to talk about how they feel about a divorce. But, they will be able to and will need to talk about some practical matters. These children should be told which house they will live at, which parent will live with them and when they will see the other parent.

In the middle are kids between six and 11 or 12 years old. The ability to talk about feelings will grow as the age goes up. At the same time, the desire to find someone or something to blame for the divorce may also arise. Conversations with parents can address this as well as other emotions and needs.

Family meeting best at the start

While each child will have different needs for talking about a divorce as it goes on, the first time that kids are told about it should be when they are all together. Psychology Today indicates this will eliminate the potential for any divisions between siblings based upon who was told about the divorce first.

New situations

As the new family order takes shape and kids have to split time between their parents, they will have to find ways to stay in touch with both parents. The Huffington Post says that allowing kids to contact either parent freely is the best option. This allows the most natural communications and is optimal for strong bonds.

How to find help

When determining how to manage all of the aspects of a divorce, Spokane residents are advised to talk to an attorney. Having the right help with the legalities of this situation is important. Parents can then have more ability to help their kids through the process knowing other matters are being handled.