You told friends and family about your divorce, but now you must tell your children. Do you know how to approach the matter?
Family Education offers insights into sharing the news of divorce with shared children. Learn how to remain open and honest with your kids and help them adjust to their new living situation.
Set a foundation
Other than telling your kids the truth, use this conversation as an opportunity to help them know what to expect in the coming days. For instance, when do you plan to divorce? Will you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse remain in your marital home together? How much do you feel comfortable telling your kids about the reason for ending your marriage?
It may help to take turns when answering these questions. That way, you share the responsibility and present a united front to your kids. End the discussion by letting your loved ones know you care about them and that you and your current spouse plan to continue raising them together.
No matter if you and your current partner have hard feelings toward each other, try not to bring that energy into the conversation with your children. Keep things as civil as possible to protect your kids’ mental health. Specifically, try not to place blame, respect the relationship your kids have with the other parent and try to put yourself in your children’s position. If you feel yourself getting upset, take some time to calm down and collect yourself.
Parents must weigh their words when telling shared children about their divorce. By having a plan of action for the conversation, parents and kids may feel better about the days ahead.