Are you a parent wondering how to tell your kids you are divorcing? If so, take comfort from the fact that many others have been in the same situation. They, too, were worried about how the divorce would affect their children and how they should break the news.
If you look around, you will see that most of them did just fine, even if it was not entirely smooth sailing.
Set realistic expectations
You cannot expect it to be easy nor to be able to cover everything in one go. You cannot know all the answers yet, and your child will not yet have formed all their questions. Think of it as an ongoing conversation, stretching over months, where you will need to do as much listening as you do talking.
Set some rules
Even if you and your spouse decide to break the news to your kids together, you will each have separate conversations with them in the future. Here are some ways to make those better for everyone:
- No putting down the other party: Your child does not want to hear anyone talk bad about a parent, let alone their other parent. They are not your sounding board. You have friends and family for that. Stick to the facts without attributing blame or letting your frustrations with your co-parent enter the conversation.
- No uncertain promises: Your child has just lost the biggest certainty in their life (their parents being together), so more setbacks will hurt. It is better to say you do not know yet rather than promise anything that is not guaranteed.
The precise details of custody and divorce may not emerge for months yet. Getting legal help to understand your options can help you handle things in the most efficient way possible.