Telling your children that you’re going through a divorce is challenging, especially when you consider they’ve only known life with both parents together. This is a conversation that’s best had when you don’t have to rush.
Ideally, you’ll do this when they aren’t busy with schoolwork or leaving for an extracurricular activity. Consider these points as you prepare for this conversation:
1: Tell them with your co-parent
Some children feel better when both parents talk to them as a team. This lets them hear what’s going on from both adults at the same time. Everyone will know exactly what’s said, so there’s very little chance of misunderstandings. If you have more than one child, they should all be told at the same time so none of them have to hide it from the others.
2: Stick to age-appropriate facts
You and your ex should discuss what facts you will reveal to the children. These must be age-appropriate so the children aren’t overwhelmed. As you’re talking about how things will change now, be sure you’re providing them with accurate information. Never make promises if there’s any doubt that you can keep them.
3: Be ready to answer questions
You and your ex should be prepared to answer questions. The kids may have some now, but they may need to return and ask you something after the meeting. Be willing to speak to them whenever they feel the need. This could be anything from them having questions to them needing to talk to you about how they feel.
Getting a temporary parenting plan for this meeting with the children benefits some parents. Going over this with the children can give them peace of mind.