Marriage and divorce are common life experiences, and you may be among the 25% of couples who eventually end their marriage according Psychology Today. The divorce process can spur many big changes in your life, as well as many significant changes in the lives of your children.
If you are in the beginning stages of the divorce process, you may wonder how to tell your children about what will occur. Using the following strategies can help you confidently tackle this difficult conversation and help your children navigate what is to come.
- Tell the entire family at the same time
You may feel like you should tell your older children about your plans to divorce first and shelter your younger children from the news for as long as possible. Instead of taking this approach, gather your entire family together and tell all your children at the same time.
- Accept your children’s emotions
Your children may react to the news of your impending divorce differently than you may have anticipated. Even if you find your children’s reactions confusing, accept their emotions and commit to helping them cope, whether that means finding a therapist or talking to them independently multiple times.
- Answer questions honestly
You may find it tempting to limit the discomfort your children feel by skirting around difficult issues as you talk about your divorce. However, doing this may only lead to additional confusion and pain, so try and answer any questions your children have as openly and honestly as possible.
- Present a unified message
It can be difficult to cooperate with your spouse and not place blame when you decide to end your marriage. Despite these difficulties, present a mature, unified front to your children when talking to them about your divorce. Doing so can protect your children from feeling like they were the reason you and your spouse decided to end your marriage.