Divorce can be tough, and more so when there are kids involved. However, sooner or later, you will have to tell them. No child wants their parents to separate, and the news can be devastating for them. But, how you handle this conversation and make yourself available to your children can make this process easier for them.
In this article, we tell you all about how to tell your kids you are getting divorced. Keep reading.
Table Of Contents
How To Tell Your Kids That Their Parents Are Getting Divorced?
1. Make It A Point To Be Together
You and your partner may not agree on a lot of matters. However, ensure that both of you are together when you decide to break the news to your children. It will avoid any confusion and save them from listening to different versions of the story. Talking to your partner beforehand will give you a direction about the right choice of words.
Having the discussion together will maintain the trust that your children have in you. It will show that even though you are separating, you both are still on the same when it comes to parenting them. It is also beneficial for their mental health.
2. Plan What You Are Going To Say
Before talking to your kids about divorce, sit with your partner and discuss what you will say. Both of you must be on the same page about this. Expect a lot of questions. You both can take turns to answer them.
Your children are going to be curious to know how this decision will impact their lives. Pre-empt their questions, and if you cannot, agree on a common tone that you will use in this discussion.
3. Do Not Blame One Another
The process of divorce with kids involved can take a toll on you. You may be in emotional hell and want to vent it out. However, the blame game may take a toll on your children’s mental well-being and scar them for a long time.
If your children are too young to understand, avoid telling them about the sensitive details of your marriage. For instance, do not tell them if there was an extra-marital affair or abuse. There is always a right time to share such information, and it is not now. They deserve to know the truth but not yet.
You may explain the reason for the divorce if your children are a bit older.
4. Tell Them That Both Of You Will Be Available
When you tell your children about your divorce, you will have to talk to them about the future. The news that one of their parents is going to move out can cause distress to their innocent minds.
You can try to relieve their stress by informing them that both of you will still be an inseparable part of their lives. Tell them that although one parent will be moving out, the equation with the children will remain the same.
5. Talk To Your Children As A Family
If your children are at a mature age, you can break the news as a family. After that, you can follow up with each child individually. However, if you feel that one child will get upset or will not be able to hold back their emotions, tell them separately.
If there is a significant age gap, you may want to tell them separately. It is better to use language that they will understand to make the conversation easier for them.
6. Allow Them To React
Before telling your kids about your divorce, prepare yourself for all possible reactions. Each child may react differently. While one may cry for days, another child may get angry or ignore it altogether. One of them may even get upset and ask you to leave their room. Be prepared for all kinds of reactions and allow them time to accept your decision.
However, do let them know that you are available to talk and answer their questions at all times. Avoid hounding them with questions. Instead, plan a second conversation a few days later to check in on them and find out how they are coping with the news.
As important as it is to figure out how to tell your children that you are getting divorced, it is equally essential to time it right. Let us find out more about how you can do this.
When Is The Right Time to Inform Your Child About Your Divorce?
Well, there is never going to be a good time to inform your children that their parents are separating. However, this is an inevitable conversation. Before talking to kids about divorce, be very sure of your decision and that there is no possibility of reconciliation.
Children do not like uncertainty. Telling them before you are sure about your decision may make them unsure about their future. Moreover, you will not be able to answer their questions unless you are clear about your intentions.
Select a time when they are not already upset with something. Secondly, make sure that it is not after a fight you both have in front of your children.
To time it right, try to tell them over the weekend instead of a weekday. That way, you will be around to handle any questions on their days off. Furthermore, choose a quiet place to tell them. Preferably, break the news at home and not in a public place.
When talking to kids about divorce, it is best to plan what you will tell them. Check out the next section to learn how best to do it.
What Should You Tell Your Kids About Divorce?
1. Tell Them What Divorce Means
Teenagers will have a fair understanding of what divorce means. However, if your kids are younger, they will need your help in understanding what it means and how it will impact their lives.
Be gentle and use simple language that they will understand. If they are too young, you can tell them that mommy and daddy will not be living together and that one of you is going to move out.
2. Tell The Truth
You, understandably, want to protect your children. However, every lie that you say now will impact your kids in the future and their relationship with you both. Be honest and tell them the truth. If they are too young to understand, tell them that you are not getting along.
3. Give Them Reassurance
Telling your kids about divorce may break their hearts. To make the situation a little better, reassure them that some things will be the same. For instance, mom will still put them to bed every night, and dad will continue to take them to school every morning.
To do this, both of you may need to work out the plan for your daily routines before you tell them about the divorce.
4. Tell Them That It Is Not Their Fault
It has been observed that sometimes children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. They may feel that it would not have happened if they had behaved well. Or perhaps, they may take it upon themselves to bring you together.
These thoughts may become deep-rooted in their minds and affect them in more ways than you can imagine. Tell them that your divorce is not their fault. You can be gentle by saying that sometimes mommies and daddies want different things in life. Or tell them that you have been arguing a lot and would like to take a break from the current situation. However, it is not their fault in any way.
5. Hear Them Out
While talking to your kids about divorce, be patient and give them the attention they deserve. They may be at a loss for words, so help them express their feelings. Your children may not want to be honest out of fear of hurting you. In some scenarios, they may even want to blame you for the divorce.
Allow them time to soak it all in. Try to encourage your children to express their feelings and let them know that you are there to hear them out.
6. Tell Them You Love Them
It is essential to reassure your children that your love for them will still be the same even after the divorce. Tell them that you know it is a significant change for the family, and you are ready to give them the time and space they need to accept it.
In the end, tell them that you love them no matter what, and that is one thing that is never going to change. It is the most powerful message that you can give to your children at this precarious stage.
Final Take Away
Divorce can be a challenging time to get through. The stakes are higher when there are kids involved. They are an essential part of the family, and the news is going to impact them on multiple levels. So, plan ahead before talking to your kids about your divorce and choose the right words.
However, take care of yourself too. It is alright if you break down when telling them about your divorce. You can say that it is a hard time for everyone, and you can continue this conversation after some time.
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