Deciding to divorce is not an easy thing to do; telling your children about the divorce can be even more difficult.
There are many suggestions for how to talk about getting divorced with your children. In this post, we explain three of these recommendations that can be particularly important if you and the other parent plan to pursue an amicable, peaceful divorce.
- Keep the conversation age-appropriate. If your children are young, keep the explanation simple. Older children may have more questions and stronger reactions, so make sure you take the time to address them. Your children do not need to know every detail about the legal process or why you are divorcing, particularly if they are too young to understand this information, but you should be honest and open.
- Focus on their needs. Kids need to feel safe, loved and supported during difficult times. As such, parents should keep the focus on them in these discussions. Make sure they know Mom and Dad love them and that they are not to blame. Understand that they may go through various stages of grief, so reiterate that you will always be there to listen and answer their questions no matter how they might feel.
- Present a united front. If you are on amicable terms with each other, parents can tell the children together about the divorce. This can show your children that you aren't going to disappear from each other's lives overnight, which can be reassuring. Depending on your children's age, you might even explain that you plan to work together during the divorce and afterward as co-parents, if this is the case.
Talking to your kids about a divorce is not easy, but keeping it age-appropriate, focusing on their needs and talking to them together can make it a little easier for you and for them.