Announcing your divorce is difficult, but it can be much more complicated when you have to tell it to the people it affects the most. Your children rely on you and your spouse to care for them, to love them and they may expect that you and your partner cannot ever split.
Divorce can be in the child’s best interests, particularly in high-conflict marriages. Understand that divorce may not harm your children, but you do have to help them healthily reach the point of understanding. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, talking to your kids requires taking their maturity into account.
Start with simple points
Kids do not need the messy details of your divorce. Older kids and teenagers may ask for more information and you can have an open conversation with them about the divorce, but be careful of how much you share. You do not want your kids to try to fix the problems or to look at you or your ex in a different light.
Young kids need to know that you and your ex will be happier apart than together. Likewise, they need to know that their lives will not completely change. You and your spouse will still support and love them.
Keep your kids’ feelings in consideration
Kids may have complicated emotional reactions to the divorce. Let them know they have a safe place to vent their emotions. Expect them to have questions and even if they do not ask them, be clear that they did nothing wrong to cause the divorce and that their actions have nothing to do with your relationship. Even kids who hide their feelings may still be uncertain and afraid.
Watch your children’s reactions and listen to them when they vent their frustrations.