A lot of divorce is about resolving issues that set the stage for your life post-marriage. Yet, while those issues are looming, you might have more immediate actions that you’re dreading. Amongst them may be breaking the news of divorce to your children. This is a delicate matter that requires extreme care, so we hope that these tips will prove helpful.
- Have a plan: Breaking the news of divorce is a major event. You shouldn’t wing it. Instead, know what you’re going to talk about and how you’re going to talk about it. Coordinate that plan with your spouse so that you can work together for the benefit of your children.
- Be honest: Your children deserve the truth. Don’t fill them with false hope of eventual reconciliation if that isn’t possible. Doing so will only lead to more harm later down the road.
- Provide clarity: Divorce thrusts a lot of uncertainty on children. When you break the news, you’ll probably be hit with a lot of questions about how the child’s lie will look moving forward. Where will he live? What school will he attend? Where will holidays be spent?
- Don’t throw mud: You might have a lot of negative feelings toward your spouse, but you shouldn’t blame him or her for the divorce when breaking the news to your children. This will only cause more confrontation and potentially damage your children. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re capable of practicing some restrain and convince your spouse to do the same before moving forward with the talk.
- Listen to your kids: Your children are going to feel a wide array of emotions. Let them express them and really listen to what they’re saying. You might be able to reassure them and comfort them by letting them know that they should be honest with you and speak to you about the divorce whenever they want.
- Tell them they’re not at fault: Don’t let your children internalize the divorce by shouldering the blame themselves. Correct any misconceptions on their part.
- Provide as much stability as possible: Try to give your children some sense of stability throughout the divorce by focusing on routines as much as possible.
Breaking the news of divorce to your children is going to be difficult, even if you follow these steps. But hopefully you’ll be able to lessen the blow and help them navigate the process so that your relationship with them can remain strong as everyone starts the next chapter in life.