Getting a divorce isn't easy for anyone, but it's particularly difficult for children. They may not understand what having custody means or may be confused as to who will take care of them and when. To help your children, it's a good idea to talk to them about custody and what it means for their futures as soon as possible.
How can you explain custody to your children? Here are three tips to help.
1. Talk to your children with your spouse
First, talk to your children with your spouse. You should both be there to explain what custody is and to confirm that both of you are there for your children now and in the future. Be prepared for upset or angry children and save time for them to calm down during the discussion.
2. Allow time for questions
Another thing to remember is that your children are bound to have questions. Don't talk about custody thinking that your children don't need to respond or ask questions. Make sure you have plenty of time to listen to their concerns and to answer any questions they have. Even if you think you have the situation figured out, your child may have something important to say that influences your custody arrangements in the future.
3. Encourage positivity
Finally, encourage positivity when talking about changes. Encourage your child to become excited about living in two homes, meeting new people or spending more one-on-one time with mom or dad. It's always a good idea to teach your children that change doesn't have to be a bad thing, even if it seems like the changes coming their way are.
Children are quick to adjust to new situations. With good preparation, you can make custody arrangements easier on everyone.