A divorce conversation may be the last thing you ever thought you would have with your children. But if you have decided to get a divorce, this conversation is inevitable.
Here are three tips to help you have a more manageable discussion, that will hopefully set the stage for a healthier, happier divided family dynamic to (eventually) come.
Both of you should be present, if possible and appropriate
If possible, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse should share the divorce news with the kids together. This effort illustrates a united front, assuring them that your dedication to parenting them together won’t change significantly. Additionally, it allows you and your spouse to pass along similar information. Having separate conversations can result in contradicting standpoints. You and your spouse should plan what to say and how you will respond to questions to be more straightforward and confident during the conversation.
Have an age-appropriate conversation
Your kids’ ages will determine how your discussion goes. If your kids are younger, you should keep your language simple. If they are old enough to understand marriage and divorce, you can provide adequate information without overwhelming them. Therefore, you may need to have separate conversations with your kids if they have huge age gaps.
Choose the most suitable place and time
The most suitable place to have a divorce conversation with your kids is at home. They will likely feel safer and more comfortable at home than if you were exploring this topic elsewhere. When it comes to timing, consider talking to them when they are relaxed. They should not be hungry, sleepy, overstimulated, tired or in a hurry to do homework.
Discussing divorce with your children can be challenging, but you can ease it with practical tips. You should also get legal guidance to start working out your parenting plan before talking to your kids so that you can give them more concrete information about what to expect “from go.”