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9 Questions to Ask Your Kids During a Divorce

Children and arguing parents
Children whose parents are divorcing often need to talk about it. After all, divorce is a tumultuous time for all family members, and children who haven't yet developed good coping skills may have an especially difficult time adapting to their new lives. As you navigate divorce and child custody matters, help your kids by asking questions that help them discuss their complex feelings.

1. What's Been the Worst Part of Your Week?

Children who are going through their parent's divorce may go through a rollercoaster of ever-changing emotions week after week. Whether you filed for divorce last week or six months ago, check in with how your kids currently feel about the split. This communication will show them how much you're interested in how they feel and can give them the freedom to vent.

2. How Have Things Gotten Better Lately?

As you and your ex work things out, you will naturally strive to make your kids' lives easier as they adjust to post-divorce living. Ask your kids how things have improved to empower them to see the positive aspects of their new lives. It also helps you evaluate whether the current custody arrangement is working well for your kids.

3. Have Any of Your Friends' Parents Gotten a Divorce?

Children may want to talk about other divorces they know about. They may have fears about things getting as bad as they did for another friend's parents. Alternately, they may be hopeful that you'll get back together with your ex is they saw another couple reconcile. By asking this question, you can gain insights about your kids' expectations.

4. What Do You Most Want to Change About What's Happening Now?

Children need to express their dynamic feelings about the changes in their lives they probably didn't want. The reality of divorce means that kids don't have a lot of power. However, you can help them feel a greater sense of control by encouraging them to openly talk about what they want to change.

5. Have You Had Nightmares About What's Going On?

Let's face it, a lot of children have nightmares and even have difficulty sleeping during their parents' divorce. Bringing up the topic with your children may make them less afraid about sharing their nightmares. 

6. What Would You Differently If You Were the Parent?

This is a topic that crosses many kids' minds. Listening to what your children would do differently if they were in charge can give you some insights on how to help them adapt. For example, if your kids would prefer to not have to pack their things when switching from one house to another, you and your ex may buy duplicates of things to keep at each house.

7. What Would Make You Feel Better Just for Today?

If you sense that your child simply needs temporary soothing during a divorce, this is a great question to ask. Sometimes giving children what they really want at the right time can create happy memories for both of you.

8. How Can You Help Your Siblings?

Talking to children about how they can help their siblings during the divorce can help them in a variety of ways. It puts their focus on others for a while. It also encourages them to look at what they may need help with, too.

9. Will You Let Both Parents Know Any Time You Get Hurt?

Let your children know that they can talk about things that hurt them. Reassure them that it's not tattling to express their frustration when they feel they're being mistreated. Knowing what's going on may help you with child custody concerns, too.

Finally, one of the best things that you can do for your kids during your divorce is simply be an active listener. Contact Joseph E. Walden, Attorney at Law with any questions you have about child custody during your divorce. Our caring team can help protect the best interests of you and your children during every step of your divorce.

Disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.