Out of all of the challenges of going through a divorce, one of the worst parts for parents is telling their kids they are getting divorced. Depending on the age of your kids, you’ll need to tackle this in different ways. To help you out, keep reading as we share everything you need to know about the best ways to handle this difficult conversation.
Plan Ahead of Time What You Will Say
The conversation with your children ideally needs to take place with both of you present. For that reason, we recommend you take some time to plan ahead what you will say to your kids. Try not to become too emotional during the conversation, as this will make things hard for everyone involved. On top of that, think about the most appropriate time to tell your children. Do it on a day when they don’t have anything else going on so that they can have some time after to process their emotions and deal with the shock of your revelation.
Talk to Everyone at the Same Time
If you have multiple children, you’ll want to ensure everyone is present for this conversation. This can sometimes be challenging if you have older kids who are away at college, but it’s best that everyone hears it from the source rather than from another sibling. If your children are spread over a wide range of ages, we recommend following up with the older children afterward, who may have more questions or need extra information to help process the divorce.
Don’t Blame Anyone
Regardless of what has led to the divorce, try to avoid pointing the blame at your partner during this time. This can force your children to take sides, which is something you should try to avoid unless there’s a risk to their safety. Be honest with your children at all times. You don’t have to go into too much detail about the specifics of your relationship, but offer them an insight into what you are going through. Make sure your kids know they aren’t anything to do with this decision so that they don’t blame themselves in the future for your divorce.
Discuss the Future
One of the biggest questions your children will be left with is how their lives will change. If one of you is leaving the family home, make this clear to your kids from the start. Remind them of everything in their life that will stay exactly the same so that they feel some comfort from the situation. Reassure them that they will still be able to do everything they enjoy currently even after the divorce and that you’ll both be there to support them throughout their lives.
Telling your kids that you are getting divorced can be one of the most heart-breaking parts of a divorce. However, by following these steps listed above and finding the right time and place for the conversation, you can strive to make it easier on everyone to the best of your ability.