Divorce is not easy for children, although most of the negative effects do not last a long time. Children tend to struggle more when there is conflict between their parents.
When it comes to sharing the news of your divorce with your children, there are better ways of doing it that will lessen the stress and anxiety that many children experience. Putting aside conflict is one of the first steps when preparing to tell the kids.
Plan and prepare
According to Huff Post, you should not tell the kids until you and your soon-to-be ex plan what you are going to say. Choose a day that is free so you can take the time necessary to share the news. It should also be a bit in advance of when one of you is moving out so the children have a transition period.
Present the news together
Although you may not want to be in the same room with your spouse, it is better to present a united front when telling the kids. This sets the tone for the future and shows the children you are still their parents and will co-parent successfully. Present the news with calm confidence and use clear language. Even if the divorce was mainly the fault of one of you, tell the children that you both decided it is best to be apart. Use the word ‘we’ throughout the conversation.
Divulge information based on the age of the child
If you have younger children, use simple language and share only basic information, unless they ask for more. With older children, you can divulge more information, but you can steer clear of details as to why it is occurring.
Acknowledge reactions and reassure
According to Psychology Today, your children may respond to the news in varying ways. Let them know that expressing emotion is healthy and be there when they have questions or want to talk more about it. Reassure them of your love for them so they feel secure.
The divorce conversation will probably be difficult for you and the children. Be as honest as possible while letting them know they still have two parents that love them.