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If you, like many Americans, are going through a divorce you know that it can be tough. It’s an emotionally exhausting experience and there are a lot of worries on your mind about the future and what this means for you both. What this could mean for your children if you have any.

More than one million children are involved in divorce proceedings each year. That’s a million kids potentially meeting with lawyers, maybe Family Services, and other individuals. They could be right in the thick of family law, but that’s not always the case.

Sometimes parents don’t like to talk to their children about the divorce, they try to shield them from it. Keep them in the dark. The truth is, however, that keeping your children in the dark can often have detrimental effects. It can cause anxiety, and create fears in their minds.

Talking with your children, in the company of their other parent, presents the idea that you two will work together and be united in this, despite the divorce. Be honest with them about what’s going on, and be sure that they know that you both still care about them. It may seem like a lot of work and stress on you both, talking with the attorneys and reassuring and comforting your children, but keeping them informed is important.

You must also let them know that the divorce is final. They might have ideas or dreams about you both getting back together, and being honest about the prospects is important. It is just as important as meeting with your divorce attorney or discussing the monetary and social facts of the divorce.

When talking to your children about the divorce you have to be calm and in control. However, communicating your own feelings with them can also be helpful to provide a feeling of stability in trying times.

Let them know when you might be feeling sad, anxious, or upset. Tell them what you’re doing to feel better despite this. By telling them your own feelings, you normalize their experience.

You want to avoid being overly emotional, to avoid making your child feel they need to take care of you. But you also don’t want to be emotionless, or they might not feel safe expressing their own feelings.

Taking care of your family is an important part of any divorce. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions for individuals with children that may need support!