Telling Your Adult Children You’re Getting a Divorce Requires Delicacy and Respect
Sometimes when people divorce and their children are older, they mistakenly assume it will be less traumatizing for their children. Consequently, the parents neglect to give the delivery of their news the same gentle care they would if their children were little kids.
No matter your circumstances, no matter how old your children may be, they’ll still be losing the family they’ve always known. For adult children it can be just as devastating and painful. That's why the same advice applies when it comes to breaking the news to the younger children: tell them together with honesty and respect, and let them know that they are loved, and that no one’s to blame.
Breaking the News of Your Divorce the Right Way
First of all, no matter what, the worst thing you could do is break the news over the phone. Is that how you would do it if your children were small? Not at all. You would talk to them together and be sure to tell them they did nothing wrong. You and your husband would reassure them that you both love them. All this needs to happen with your adult children as well. If you cannot break the news in person, the announcement should still be face-to-face via Skype or Facetime or some other live video chat system. They need to be able to see you both.
Be Prepared for Tough Questions
When you do choose the when and how to tell your children, the two of you should take time to prepare in advance. With young kids, you can take it as it comes and ad lib, but with adult children, there will be hard and direct questions. You’d better know how to answer their questions, and the two of you need to agree on what you’ll say
t may sound silly, but you and your husband could practice the answers you want to give. By doing so, you’ll be better able to deal with the toughest questions. You don’t have to go into messy details about bad behavior, but be prepared to tell them the truth. Your children will want to know why you’re divorcing, and they’re entitled to an answer.
Spare Your Children the Gory Details
Do not forget you and your soon-to-be ex-husband are still Mommy and Daddy to your adult children. For them, your first job is to be a caring parent, no matter how much your life may be in turmoil at this time. Don’t draw them into your divorce drama; spare them the details of who did what and who said what. Be careful how much you share.
Overall, be sure to communicate that you understand how this will change all your lives, and that they can share with you how they feel. Be patient and listen, and understand this is about them as much as it is about you.
Need More Advice?
Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your situation. You will find that we’re experienced, professional…and, above all, compassionate and understanding of your situation. And if you found this article to be helpful, we encourage you to share it on Facebook or another social media site for the benefit of your friends.
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