By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
One of the most difficult conversations you can have as a parent is to tell your children you are getting divorced. There isn’t a right or wrong way to articulate the information, but having some additional support and resources is a good way for parents to get on the same page and to help your kids through the process.
Parents can seek the assistance of any family or child therapist. If your child is already in therapy, implore the help of these professionals who know your child and any issues your child has and can assist you in providing a script and even things to look for to help your child process the difficult information. If you don’t feel your child needs the assistance of a therapist, talk with counselors, guidance counselors, and school teachers and let them know what is going on and ask for their help in assisting your child through the transition. Oftentimes, a teacher will notice a child’s change in demeanor or personality and as parents, you can work with your child’s teachers to ensure they have the resources needed to keep them on track and to talk about how they are feeling.
There is an abundance of videos and books on the market that you can consult with before having a conversation with your child. Take into consideration your child’s age and the facts specific to your life, but below are some recommendations that many parents have found helpful and can easily be purchased online or even found at your local library.
For preschool age children, Sesame Street offers a children’s divorce kit entitled Little Children Big Challenges: Divorce. The kit includes a Sesame Street DVD, “A Guide for Parents and Caregivers,” and a children’s storybook. Other great books to consider for children ages 3 to 6 is Dinosaurs Divorce by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown, or My Family’s Changing by Pat Thomas.
For school-aged children, some parents have found When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos and A Smart Girls Guide to her Parent’s Divorce by Nancy Holyoke helpful. These books provide more in-depth discussion topics.
There is never a good time to have the conversation with your children, but I recommend that all parents do some research on your own and find additional resources to assist you with the conversation. Ensure that your children are supported through the process by answering their questions and getting them any help they may need to work through their emotions as the process continues and changes begin.
For further legal guidance and support in your Maryland divorce, contact Andalman & Flynn online today.
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