Your children will eventually learn that you’re going through a divorce. However, breaking the news to them can be difficult.
As you prepare for the divorce process, you may need to consider the following tips for when you talk to your children about your divorce:
Talk with your spouse, first
Divorce is a tough topic to talk about. You may not know exactly what you need or want to say. By talking with your spouse before your children, you may be able to figure out what each of you wants to say. Understanding what your spouse wants to say and respecting their decisions can go a long way when you co-parent with them.
Consider your children’s ages
Children understand and process information differently as they age. As such, your children’s ages can help inform you as to what should be talked about. For example, a toddler won’t likely have any idea what divorce is or means – it will likely only make sense years later. While a teenager will have a strong understanding of divorce. But, you may need to carefully elaborate why the divorce is happening for their mental well-being.
Find the right time to have the talk
Talking about your divorce should be timely. If your children discover that their parents are going through a divorce just before bed or school, then they may be left alone with mixed feelings. Talking to your children during a meal could give them the time necessary to process the news.
Let your children ask questions
Divorce can be confusing even for adults. Your children may ask questions about your divorce. During this time, you should consider letting them ask any questions even if you don’t know all of the answers. For example, you may be able to explain what will happen after the divorce but not why the divorce is happening. This can help children process what will change.