Once you’ve wrapped up all the loose ends with your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer and your marriage is over, it’s reasonable to expect that both you and your ex will move on. When that happens, you may have to deal with new people coming into your kids’ lives—including new half-siblings. If your ex is expecting, how should you broach the subject with your kids? Is there a right way or a wrong way?
What to Say to the Kids
Once your ex has told them that there’s a new baby on the way, your kids might experience a wide range of emotions based on how old they are, how solid their parent-child relationships are and their unique personality types.
The most important thing you can do is listen. Don’t impose your opinions on them; they’ll form their own. Most psychologists recommend answering questions honestly (and age-appropriately, of course) and encouraging open dialogue.
What Your Kids Might be Confused About
Some kids aren’t sure how the new half-sibling will factor in their relationships with you and your ex. Younger kids might think the new sibling is somehow connected to you and be concerned that they’ll have to share both parents; older kids might not be sure how the puzzle fits together or what they should call the new arrival.
Half-Brother/Half-Sister or Brother/Sister?
Since blended families are becoming the norm, many people no longer use the term “half-“ to precede brother or sister. Whether your family adopts the term or decides to avoid labels that could be hurtful, it’s best to talk to your ex and make sure you’re all on the same page. Like all other aspects of co-parenting, this is a subject worth discussing.
When to Call Your Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyer
When your ex’s new baby arrives, continue talking to your kids to make sure they are adjusting well. If you suspect they’re not, it can’t hurt to call your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer to ask for a referral to a therapist who is well versed in blended families. Additionally, if you suspect your ex is incapable of caring for your kids as well as hers, or if your children are being neglected or abused, call your lawyer immediately. He or she may be able to work toward a modified custody agreement so your kids get the attention and care they deserve.