Parents often discuss divorce for a long time before they mention it to their children. The children may know that something is wrong in the relationship, or they may be completely oblivious. But there will eventually come a time when you need to sit down with your kids and tell them about this upcoming change.
Parents are often concerned about this conversation. They know they need to have it, and they know how important it is, but they’re not sure what they can do to make it go smoothly. They love their children and they just want to look out for what’s best for them. If that’s the place you’re in, consider the following tips when you break the news.
Do not blame each other
Don’t go into the conversation saying that your spouse caused the divorce or that you did. Just have a neutral reason where you can explain to the kids why the two of you would like to split up. This way, they don’t feel like they have to pick sides or that anyone is the “bad guy.”
Talk with your spouse first
You and your spouse want to have a concrete plan for how you’re going to address this conversation. You may deviate from it as the conversation progresses, but you should talk about the main points that you want to get across and how to start the conversation. This way, things work forward in a natural direction and the two of you can work together to get those points across.
Don’t do it too early
As noted above, parents usually are quite sure about the divorce before they talk to the kids, but this is not always the case. You should make sure that you’re 100% confident that you’re going to get a divorce. Don’t talk about this too early and then backtrack.
Gather all of your children
If you have multiple children, get them all together and have a big family conversation where you all talk about this at once. This helps because they get to see both you and your spouse discuss it, and it means all the children find out from you and not from anyone else.
These tips can help, but this conversation is just the beginning. Be sure you also know about all of your legal rights and the steps you need to take to get a divorce.