Divorce is a challenging reality that many families face, and breaking the news to your children requires thoughtful consideration and a delicate approach. As parents, your primary concern is the well-being of your children, and how you communicate this event can impact their emotional response.
You may have concerns about telling your children about your plans to divorce. However, certain strategies can help you feel prepared for this conversation and support your children at this time.
Choose the right time and place
In 2021 in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 689,309 couples chose to divorce or annul their marriages, and many of these couples had children that they had to tell about their divorce. Selecting an appropriate time and setting is important when broaching the topic of divorce with your kids. Choose a quiet, comfortable space where you can have an open and honest conversation without interruptions.
Present a united front
It is important to present a united front when discussing divorce with your children. Regardless of your differences, emphasize that the decision is mutual and unrelated to anything they may have done. Reassure them that both parents will remain actively involved in their lives, fostering a sense of stability and security.
Use age-appropriate language
Tailor your language to suit the age and understanding of each child. Avoid using complex legal or emotional jargon. Instead, be clear, concise and honest about the changes that will occur.
Encourage questions and emotions
Anticipate a range of emotions from your children and prepare to address their concerns. Encourage them to ask questions and express their feelings, providing a safe space for them to share their thoughts without judgment.
Maintain routine and stability
In the aftermath of divorce, maintaining a sense of routine and stability is important for your children’s well-being. Reassure them that daily life will continue as normally as possible, with consistent routines and familiar activities.
Your children may not react as you expect to the news of your divorce. Accept whatever reaction occurs and remain as present as possible in the coming days to provide extra emotional support.