Many parents consider the divorce talk to be one of the hardest conversations they will ever have with their children. While you may feel the temptation to procrastinate, Psychology Today suggests that you should act quickly to keep your children from learning the news from someone else.
The following includes tips on how to bring up your split from your spouse to your children.
Have a family meeting
You should try to talk with your kids together, as a family. If you can sit down to talk to your children with your spouse, it shows that you two will still work together as a team to care for them. You should also tell your children all together. If you tell them individually, then you risk one child spilling the beans to their sibling before you have the chance to talk to them yourself. If you want to have a more in-depth or nuanced discussion with your older or younger children, plan to have it after the initial talk.
Remain civil and gentle
Do not become combative during the talk. Even if you blame your spouse for your marriage dissolving, your children do not need that information. You do not want your children to feel as though they have to choose between their parents. Make sure that the two of you stay amicable and speak as a single unit rather than as two separate entities. You are still their parents together.
Help them understand why
While you do not need to give your children specific details, you do need to prepare to give them the reason for why the divorce is happening. Try to give general explanations without assigning blame if you are divorcing for a personal reason.
Be clear about the future
It will be beneficial to your children if you can be transparent about what your children can expect moving forward. What will change, and what will stay the same? Which parent will move out of the family home? Where will your children live? Will the divorce have any impact on their school or extracurricular activities?
This is a difficult conversation to navigate, but reassurance is key. Make sure your children know that you are both there for them, that you love them – and that these things will never change.