Few aspects of divorce are more difficult for parents than breaking the bad news to their children. You will need to approach this conversation with tenderness, and care. Honesty will also help your children understand the changes in your family dynamics.
Here are five tips on how best to tell your children you are going to divorce:
#1. Have Both Spouses Present
If at all possible, you and your spouse should speak with your children together about your decision to divorce. They should not hear about it from one of you alone or while they are at school.
#2. Consider Your Children’s Ages
Whether you talk to all of your children together or individually will depend on the ages of your children. Neither of you should blame the breakup of the marriage on the other. You should also both do your best to refrain from being upset or emotional about the divorce in front of the children. Seeing such an angry or emotional outburst will only upset your children more.
#3. Stick to the Facts
Be factual about what a divorce will mean in terms of changes, but also reassure your children that the divorce has nothing to do with them and that they will always be loved and cared for by you.
#4. Limit Hostile Parental Interactions
Take care that they do not overhear conflict between you and your spouse or discussions with your friends or family about the divorce.
#5. Lean on the Professionals
It is always advisable to consult with a divorce coach or child psychologist so that you and your spouse have the best advice possible in discussing divorce issues with your children. Receiving professional advice will help both parents navigate these issues in a way that shields the children from the negative aspects of divorce. Additionally, counseling for your children could be a great asset in helping them adjust to their new family model.
Contact us at Hallier Lawrence if you have any questions or concerns about how to best to talk to your children about this transition. We are here to help.