Talking to your children about divorce can be uncomfortable. How do you tell them that their parents are going their separate ways? And how do you answer the tough questions they may have?
Here are two questions that can help you:
When should you tell them?
There may not be a perfect time to tell your kids that you are getting a divorce. But the sooner you have the conversation, the better. Kids can sense energy; they can pick up on a different energy at home.
Therefore, while you may want to wait until one of you is about to move out or when summer approaches, they can notice something has changed and will ask questions. Besides, someone who knows about the divorce may mention it in your kids’ presence.
Holding the conversation earlier can save your kids a lot of confusion. Further, it allows you to control how they learn about the divorce.
Note that you should be sure you want a divorce before talking to your children. Informing your kids about your divorce only to change your mind afterward can be confusing.
How should you tell them?
How you handle the divorce conversation with your kids is crucial. If possible, both of you should be present. But even if the other parent can’t be around during the discussion, present the divorce as a joint decision.
You should also have answers to questions you expect your kids to ask. You may not have answers to all matters, but consider providing them with adequate age-appropriate information.
Additionally, your kids may be sad, angry or confused or believe they are to blame for the divorce. Thus, be ready to deal with these emotions to make them feel heard, loved and supported.
If you are going through a divorce with kids, it’s vital to make informed decisions throughout the process.