Helping kids communicate through a divorce

In order to help kids have good relationships with both parents, age-appropriate conversations about a divorce are important.

Talking about emotions and challenging experiences can be hard for some kids. Many Arizona parents who get divorced may notice that their children can be reticent to discuss the divorce. They can also be more apt to become closer to one parent than the other based upon the amount of time spent with each parent. Helping kids stay close to both parents and process their emotions is something parents can and should do.

Encourage a relationship with the other parent

When children are with one parent, some people think that communication with the other parent should be limited. This is understandable to some degree as it can help the focus be on the time spent with the current parent. However, the Huffington Post says that this approach can actually backfire.

Instead of helping kids connect with the parent they are with, it can make them feel like they need to hide communications with the other. They can then feel like they are in the middle, which is not good. To prevent this, allowing free communication with either parent is recommended. This keeps the lines of communication open and lets kids know that relationships with both parents are valued.

Talking to kids about a divorce

As soon as the decision to divorce has been made, parents must find the time to let their kids know. Certainly, children will have questions about the divorce and what might change, many of which are not immediately answerable. Nonetheless, Psychology Today suggests that gathering all siblings together and letting them know about the divorce at the same time is in their best interests.

The lack of details is not as critical at this juncture as giving a consistent message to all kids and reassuring them that both parents love them and will be in their lives. Certainly, if there are extenuating circumstances such as abuse, this may be different.

All-way communication matter

As a divorce unfolds and a new normal begins to take shape, encouraging good communication between kids and the other parent is only part of the equation. Trying to talk with kids about the divorce and answer their questions is also important. For little ones, this often takes the form of talking about what bed they will sleep in or where they will eat breakfast.

For older kids, more details about their routines and activities will be important, but so too can talks about emotions. Today's Parent also indicates that moms and dads should watch for signs that kids are blaming themselves for a divorce.

Making it all possible

One way that parents can free themselves up to tend to the emotional needs of their kids is to ensure they work with an experienced attorney when getting divorced. This helps Arizona residents know that important legal matters are properly addressed.