How should you tell your kids about your divorce?

When you and your spouse decide to get divorced, you may worry about how your children will cope with what lies ahead. You may wonder how your children will react to this news and what they will do in response.

Telling your kids about your divorce can be a challenging conversation. It is important to approach this conversation with care, honesty and empathy to help your children understand and cope with the changes ahead.

Choose the right time and place

Select a calm, private setting where you can talk without interruptions. Choose a time when your children are not stressed or preoccupied with other activities.

Plan what to say

Before talking to your kids, plan what you will say. Focus on the key points you want to communicate, such as the decision to divorce, how it will affect them and the assurance that both parents will continue to love and care for them. Avoid blaming or criticizing each other during the discussion, as this can increase your children’s anxiety and confusion.

Be honest and age-appropriate

Use simple, age-appropriate language to explain the situation. Be honest about the reasons for the divorce but avoid sharing unnecessary details that could overwhelm or upset your children.

Reassure them of your love and support

Emphasize to your children that the divorce is not their fault and that both parents will continue to love and support them. Reassure them that their feelings are valid and that it is okay to feel sad, angry or confused.

Encourage questions and listen

Encourage your children to ask questions and express their feelings. Listen attentively to their concerns and provide honest, reassuring answers. Be patient and give them time to process the information.

Maintain routines and stability

Try to maintain consistent routines and stability in your children’s lives. Keeping familiar schedules for meals, bedtime and activities can help provide a sense of security during this uncertain time.

Consider seeking additional support for your children, such as counseling or support groups, to help them cope with the divorce. Professional guidance can provide them with tools to manage their emotions and adjust to these changes.