Choosing to get a divorce from your spouse is hard enough without having to break the news to your children as well. But because so much of this new situation is going to involve your kids, it’s crucial that you handle the discussion of this topic in the right way. The way your children find out about your divorce will be something they remember for the rest of their lives, so you want to be sure that you tackle this subject carefully. To help with this, here are three tips for speaking to your kids about your upcoming divorce.
Tell Everyone At The Same Time
According to Dr. Kevin D. Arnold, a contributor to Psychology Today, one of the most important things about speaking to your kids about your divorce is to tell them all at the same time. Depending on the ages of your children, this might mean finding a time that fits in everyone’s schedules so that you can all sit down together to talk. Even if it’s not convenient, speaking to everyone at the same time is crucial. One of the worst things you can do for your child is tell him or her before your other children and force this news to be kept a secret. So to keep this from happening, make talking to all your kids together a priority.
Try Not To Overwhelm
The age of your children will play a big part in how you want to break the news to them and subsequently speak about your divorce. Based on their age, you’ll want to try to just give them enough information so they can understand the situation to the best of their ability. According to John Hoffman, a contributor to Today’s Parent, you don’t want to give your child so much information that you overwhelm him or her and cause fear or anxiety. However, you also don’t want to share too few details so that your child remains in the dark about how the imminent divorce will be changing their daily life.
Reiterate Love and Safety
All throughout the conversation where you break the news of your divorce, it’s vital that you reiterate to your children how much you love them and how their relationships with both parents are safe and secure. According to HealthyChildren.org, you should also make your child feel safe to share any of his or her feelings about the divorce or how it will be affecting the family. Even though your children are little, they can still feel the big emotions that come along with divorce, and it’s your job as the parent to make sure they have the emotional outlets they need to deal with these issues.
If you’ll soon be talking to your kids about your divorce, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do so.