After you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage, you must then find a way to tell your children. Divorce will affect everyday life for each member of the family, and the way you approach this subject is important. How, where and when you have this conversation is important to the way in which your children navigate this time of transition. Preparation can help you protect the best interests of the youngest members of your family.
A sensitive approach
One of the most important things to remember is that this will impact your kids profoundly and deeply. It will be in their interests to keep their needs above your temporary emotions. As you prepare to have this difficult conversation, the following may be helpful:
- Have the conversation in a private place where you can talk openly and kids can express themselves without embarrassment.
- Time the conversation well, avoiding times when the kids may be distracted by other things.
- Even if it is difficult, both parents should be present when talking about divorce with the kids.
If possible, be prepared to explain to the kids how this could affect details of their life, such as where they will live. This will help them know what to expect, and how to mentally and emotionally prepare.
The right approach
The right approach is critical when telling your kids about your divorce. It may help to start by explain that this decision is not their fault and that both parents will remain active in their lives. This initial discussion can make a significant difference in how your kids handle other aspects of your divorce.