Knowing that your marriage is over can be hard, but telling your child shouldn’t be. Your child should know what to expect from the future and how divorce may change their life. Preparing your child for divorce can mentally set them to achieve acceptance of the divorce.
You may find later in life, talking to your child about your divorce was one of the best things you did for them. Here are some tips:
Plan your talk
It can be upsetting for a child to suddenly find out their parents are divorcing. Telling your child about your divorce and immediately sending them to school isn’t a great idea because it gives them no time to process things. You want to be the first person to talk to them, and you need to do so at a time when they can ask questions.
You want to give your child a chance to ask questions. The amount of questions your child may ask is relevant to their age. Some children may not know how divorce works. Other children may have a million questions — mostly involving who they’ll live with and if you still love them.
Don’t blame your child, spouse or yourself
Your child shouldn’t bear the weight of thinking they were the cause of your divorce. You, however, shouldn’t tell your child that you or your spouse pushed to end your marriage.
Your child may need a gentle explanation for the divorce. You could say that there were differences between you and your spouse that caused the divorce. This isn’t a time to go into every fine detail of why your marriage is over.
Give your child time to think
Your child may close themselves off or walk around without saying much. Your child may just be processing what divorce will mean for the family. You may not want to push your child to talk if they don’t want to.
It can take some time before your child understands the effects of divorce. If you are facing difficulties with your spouse that are making it harder to talk to your child about divorce then you may need to seek experienced legal help.