So, you and your spouse have decided to divorce. You’re now faced with the responsibility of telling your kids. Unfortunately, there is no script for breaking the news to them. This week, I am bringing back my friend and colleague Christina McGhee to walk listeners through the very nuanced step-by-step process of telling your children you’re getting a divorce.
You and your ex are going to be co-parenting for the rest of your lives. Telling your children you’re getting divorced is the first step in parenting apart.
“You can’t take the hurt away. It is going to be hard. How you handle the hard parts is what makes a huge difference for your kids.” Christina McGhee
- First and foremost, you don’t want to prematurely tell your children you are divorcing. (3:26)
- Instead, the most important thing is to have a plan – be thoughtful about what you say and when you plan to say it. (4:00)
- Christina’s thoughts on telling your children you are only separating and then tell them you are getting a divorce at some point in the future. (6:41)
- Not a one-off conversation, but a series of conversations. (7:42)
- What do you say – what kind of information do you and don’t you provide. (11:09)
- Why it is important to make a distinction between romantic love versus love for your children. (16:52)
- When is it “easiest” for children to hear that you are getting a divorce? Hint: there is never an easy time. (19:01)
- As a parent, you need to responsibly manage your emotions. Plus, how to plan the conversation if you (or your spouse) is an emotionally vulnerable parent. (26:35)
- Curbing the desire to share your version of the truth with your kids. Mitigate this action by putting children at the center. (31:09)
Learn More About Christina:
Christina McGhee is a “media savvy” divorce-parenting expert whose practical advice has been highlighted both online and in print. Over the years, she has been featured on television, radio, podcasts, tele-summits, and webinars. Some of the places you may have seen her are Today Parents, Parenting Magazine, The Times, Channel 4, the BBC, NYU Doctor Radio, and The Dr. Laura Berman Radio Show on the Oprah Network just to name a few.
Christina is an informative and engaging guest who brings insight and strategies to help separating families deal with “real-life” challenges. As a zealous advocate for children, she does an excellent job of keeping the focus where it belongs…on kids.
Christina speaks on a wide range of topics from what to do in the beginning stages of separation to dealing with issues years down the road. She is also skilled at addressing tough issues like discipline differences, dealing with a difficult ex, high-conflict personalities, badmouthing, and neutralizing divorce drama.
Resources & Links:
Christina on LinkedIn
Christina on Facebook
Christina on Instagram
Christina’s previous appearance on The Divorce Survival Guide
Ellen Bruno about her movie Split, on The Divorce Survival Guide
The Thrive Fund