“How can we tell our children about the divorce?” Many parents struggle with the idea of this conversation, because it is painful and because they aren’t sure what words to use. It is a very important conversation because it will set the tone for children about what to expect next. To prepare for the conversation, we help parents create a We Statement with developmentally appropriate language. It is called a We Statement because:
- Both parents will participate so both voices are heard
- It reflects mutual agreement on what is important to say (and not say)
- Children are kept at the center and out of the middle
We also help parents determine the most appropriate time to have this conversation, and how to stay available to children afterward as they have questions or need reassurance from parents.
Mindful We Statements can also be helpful for other stakeholders in the family change, e.g., extended family members, close friends and neighbors, and school personnel. We help parents jointly prepare a letter, email or conversation asking for support for children and respect for parents’ wishes to have a dignified separation or divorce without side-taking or recriminations. A We Statement to important people in your lives allows you to shape a clear and powerful message on behalf of you and your children.