Divorce can be nerve-wracking for anyone. You could be experiencing a range of extreme emotions, from rage to devastation. When you’re going through such an intense experience, it can be easy to lose sight of how others – namely your kids – will be affected. Nonetheless, how you tell your children about your divorce will have long-lasting impacts on them for the rest of their lives.
It’s important to be cognizant of your children’s feelings and help them to adjust in the best way possible. In this article, we present tips on how to tell your kids about your divorce:
- Prepare yourself emotionally. You may be heartbroken or angry, but it won’t be beneficial for your kids if you break the news when you’re in a heightened emotional state. Remember that they will be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions, so it’s best to keep yourself composed – to the greatest extent possible – in order to avoid adding fuel to the fire.
- Script it out ahead of time. This is one conversation where you don’t want to wing it. Figure out exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it. If you and your ex are on speaking terms and are able to tell your children the news together, then work together to plan it out.
- Tell them with love. Understand that even though you and your spouse may have been miserable for months, your children may not have seen this turn of events coming. You don’t want to spring the news on them – it’s not like ripping off a band-aid. Instead, you want to broach the topic gradually. It’s also important not to inundate your children with information – which can be overwhelming.
- Prevent isolation. Once you’ve told them, it’s not reasonable to expect them to immediately resume life as normal. Don’t simply send them off to do their homework. You want to make sure they understand that you are still very much connected with them, and you care about how they’re feeling.
It is a pivotal moment in any child’s life when their parents part ways. How a child learns about this change has important implications on how they will deal with it.