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Telling your children about your divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Divorce

One of the hardest parts for a couple is worrying about the impact a divorce will have on their children. Most parents will do anything to protect their children from hurt and sorrow, so they put off saying anything about it.

While it’s a difficult conversation, you must do so as soon as possible.

Why you need to be upfront with your children

Divorce is a life-altering event, so it’s crucial to inform your children as soon as possible. They are intuitive and can often sense tension or conflict in the household, which can lead to anxiety and confusion if it’s not addressed.

Having an honest discussion with your children allows you to frame the situation in an age-appropriate and understandable manner. Here are some tips on telling your children about the divorce:

  1. Break the news together. 
  2. Plan what you will say.
  3. Be honest, but avoid oversharing or blaming each other.
  4. Focus on reassuring your children that the divorce is not their fault and that you love them.
  5. Encourage them to ask questions and express their feelings.

Every child is unique and will have their own way of coping with the news, but here are some reactions you can expect:

  • Your children will have many questions about how the divorce will change their lives, such as where they will live and how their lives will change.
  • There may be many emotional reactions, such as sadness, anger and confusion. In some households with high levels of conflict, some children may feel relief.
  • Behavior changes are common and may manifest differently depending on age.

After the initial divorce talk, there will be multiple conversations. Make sure your children know they can discuss their concerns with either parent. They will also need reassurance of your love and support. It’s essential they understand that each parent will remain a part of their lives.