A divorce is a complex topic even for adults. While you clearly don’t need to tell children all of the reasons for the split or discuss things like legal timelines and options in court, you do need to talk to them about your divorce.
Since doing this is both important and difficult, here are a few key tips that can help you ensure that it all goes smoothly:
Focus on what will not change
Rather than talking only about the upcoming changes, discuss what will stay the same. Ensure your child that you will still see them, that you’ll still be involved, and that they don’t have to worry about either parent disappearing from their life. Kids also worry that they caused the divorce, so make sure you tell them that they didn’t cause it and that you both love them.
Have a family conversation
If you have multiple children, have this talk as a family. Both you and your spouse should be there to answer questions, and you need to tell all of your kids at the same time so that they definitely find out from you.
Offer time for them to talk
This conversation starts with you talking and telling the children what is going on, but don’t make it too one-sided. Provide time for them to talk, ask questions and feel heard. You can alleviate a lot of their fears and worries this way, and they may have important things to bring up that you never would have thought of on your own.
Know your options
Once you have this talk, it’s time to start looking into all of your legal options. Divorce as a parent can be complicated, so you need to know where you stand.