Divorce is a very stressful life event. The process becomes even more difficult if you have kids together. And one of the most heart-wrenching conversations you can have is talking to your kids about the decision to divorce. Even if the decision is mutual, this conversation is never easy. Unfortunately, it is inevitable.
Regardless of their ages, divorce is going to impact your kids in a big way. Learning that they will no longer live under the same roof with both parents can be overwhelming. So how do you break this unfortunate news to your kids?
Here are two helpful tips for talking to your children about your divorce:
Come up with a joint plan
Bombarding your kids with the news about your divorce is never the best of ideas. Instead, plan when and how you are going to talk to them. To give you an idea, do not bring the matter up when they are celebrating a life’s milestone like a birthday or graduation party or when they are about to write their school exams.
Also, do not talk to them when they are sad or distracted. For instance, don’t sneak in the news while preparing them for bed. It is best to identify a moment that will be the least impactful.
Break the news together
Regardless of who is responsible for the marriage’s failure, you need to present a united front when talking to the kids. By breaking the news together without arguing or blaming each other, you will be giving the kids the impression that the decision is in everyone’s best interests.
Of course, you don’t have to get into the details. Just tell them (convincingly) that you tried to work things out but you seem to be on different pages despite the effort; and for that reason, you believe the divorce will allow all of you to be healthier and happier.
Divorce can take a huge emotional toll on everyone involved. Find out how you can protect everyone’s interests during the divorce process.