Tips for Telling Your Kids About Your Divorce

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Tips for Telling Your Kids About Your Divorce

While deciding to get a divorce is difficult enough, explaining that fact to your children can feel even more challenging. However, your kids must hear the news from you, and you should try to mitigate adverse effects as much as possible. Here are some tips for telling your kids about your divorce.

Make a Plan

As unpleasant as it may be, you should work with your spouse to develop a plan for the conversation. Don’t spring it on your kids before a school day; instead, plan for a family-focused day that involves a serious talk toward the end. It’s a good idea to practice some of the speech ahead of time so you learn to avoid sensitive topics that could make you emotional.

Don’t Do It Alone

If the situation allows for it, try to breach the topic with your partner. This will help your kids understand that, even though their parents are separating, they can still enjoy love and care from both of you. Avoid blaming one parent, even if there is someone at fault. A blaming narrative makes a child feel caught in the middle, as though they’re required to remain loyal to one parent over the other.

Discuss Changes and Constants

Honesty is essential, so don’t tell your kids that “nothing is going to change.” Make sure you know the next steps so you can tell your kids what will change and what will stay the same. Explain that, although parents can separate, you’ll never separate from your children. Divorce presents a massive amount of uncertainty for a child, so give them as many things to hang on to as possible.

Explain Why

While specific details are unnecessary and can even be detrimental, your kids have a right to know why this is happening. Children want to understand why their lives are being uprooted, so come up with a general explanation without blaming either spouse.

You could say, “we want different things out of our lives,” but remember: no matter what you say, reassure your kids that your love for them is the same.

Now that you know these tips for telling your kids about your divorce, keep in mind that your relationship can stay solid even if you’re parenting from afar.