Divorce can be a tricky conversation for children to understand. It can also be hard for parents to find the right words and time to break the news and respond to their children’s reactions. However, it doesn’t need to be that hard.
If you’re going through a divorce, it may help to read the following:
5 things to consider as you talk about divorce to your children
One of the biggest things that can help children through a divorce is by bringing up the news early. There’s a lot that happens before a divorce is finalized. Talking to your children early can give them time to process the news.
Here are a few more things to think about as you talk to your children:
- Don’t let others break the news first: Sometimes the biggest issue parents face when telling their children about their divorce is that someone else already broke the news. Maybe it wasn’t directly said, but your children may have picked up on context clues and learned about their parent’s divorce. Parents may consider telling their children first or making sure others don’t say anything too early.
- Plan a family meeting: It may help to talk about the divorce with the entire family. This way you and your children’s other parent can both say what needs to be said.
- Talk about the future: One of the things that might help your children understand what a divorce means for the family is talking about what will change in the future. They may need to know where they’re living or if they get to see both their parents, for example.
- Be open to questions: Children process information through questions. As a parent, you may want to consider being open to questions and giving honest answers that are appropriate for your children’s ages.
- Give your children space: It can take some time for your children to settle into the idea of their parent’s divorce. You may consider letting your children approach you to talk more about the divorce when they’re ready.
If you’re still in the early stages of getting a divorce, you may need to reach out for legal help to understand your options for child custody.