Once you and your spouse have made the decision to seek a divorce in Pennsylvania, you will need to tell your children. The initial conversation and the period that follows can be difficult for families. When the kids are teenagers, there is the additional challenge that they are already going through a variety of changes that are natural to that stage of their development. However, there are ways to tell your teenagers, reassure them and support them as they process and adapt to the news.
The initial conversation
Beginning the conversation about the divorce with your teenagers should not be done spontaneously. You need to be ready for their questions and reactions and should be on the same page as your spouse on what you will tell them. It is also important that the news is delivered with both parents present. Some of the things you should consider before that initial conversation include:
- When and where you will tell your teenagers the news
- What information you are ready to share with them
- How you will show them that you are still committed to them even if you are divorcing
- How you will end the conversation about divorce
Providing continuing support and understanding
Once you have told your teenagers about the divorce, you will need to be patient to allow them space to process the information. Their reactions might change as they go through this process and begin accepting or adapting to the changes. Throughout this time, you can also continue to show them emotional support and understanding. Like you, they might be experiencing various emotions from anger to grief to fear and confusion about what is to come.
Telling your teenagers about your divorce is a difficult but necessary step. However, when you do it together and sensibly, you also provide proof of your commitment to the family. Additionally, you become a model for taking care of yourself emotionally when situations are not working for you, a lesson that might be valuable in their adult lives.