After deciding a divorce is in your future, your thoughts may turn to your child. After all, this big decision involves them, too. This change will impact the lives of everyone in your family unit.
But when is the time right to drop news about the split? Is there a right place and way to do it? Should you wait? Experts argue that you should not.
Do not wait to have the talk
Psychology Today discusses some tips for breaking news of divorce to your child. Above all else, experts suggest you tell your child sooner rather than later. A child’s fears about divorce often stem from fearing the unknown and fearing upcoming changes. You can help mitigate this by giving them more time to cope and process this information. By waiting until closer to the divorce, you strip them of the time they need to fully explore the complex emotions that follow.
Present a unified front
Next, get on the same page with your co-parent. The last thing your child needs is conflicting information. Talk to your co-parent about how you want to answer questions. Decide in advance if anything is off limits. Keep in mind that while your child has the right to know some things, they are not entitled to every bit of information surrounding your split.
Finally, keep your child’s age and personality in mind. Maturity level dictates how a child may react to news of divorce. Personality comes into play, too. So does age, as younger children often struggle to grasp the concept more than older ones. Tweak your approach based on what you think your child will handle best.