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How to tell your children that you’re getting divorced

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Divorce |

When your marriage is on the rocks and you start thinking about divorce, you might find yourself overwhelmed by everything you have to do to ready yourself for the future. This includes gathering relevant financial documentation and preparing a post-divorce budget, but the first steps are often the hardest, including telling your children that their parents are getting divorced.

Although children are incredibly resilient, they’re also emotionally and psychologically fragile. Recognizing this, most parents are concerned about how to break the news of divorce to their children, afraid that they’re going to handle the matter poorly and create a scarring experience for their children. But that doesn’t have to be the reality that you and your children face. We hope this post will give you some guidance and some comfort as you seek the right way to tell your children about your divorce.

Tips for breaking the news of divorce to your children

There isn’t one right way to tell your children that you’re getting divorced. A lot of how you approach the topic is going to depend on your children’s personalities and the circumstances. That said, here are some tips that can help dampen the blow to your children when you break the news:

  • Present a united front: You don’t want to break the news of divorce to your children on your own if you can avoid it. If you do, then you create the perception that it was your idea to end the marriage, which could result in your children blaming you for the divorce and the impact that it has on them. By creating a united front and telling your children together, you and your spouse reinforce the fact that your children will always have their parents to support them, and that the decision was mutually made.
  • Be honest without being too detailed: Your children deserve to know why the divorce is occurring. You don’t want to share intimate details, of course, as doing so could cause damage to the relationship between your children and one or both parents. However, you should give them some sense of why the marriage failed so that they can better understand why the decision was made. This will help them cope with their newfound reality a little better.
  • Be reassuring: Children tend to internalize things. In the context of divorce, this means that they might think that they’re to blame for your failed marriage. Don’t let them go down that road. Consistently reassure them that they’re not to blame for the divorce and that no matter what happens you and your spouse will love them, care for them, and answer their questions.
  • Help them find stability: The news of divorce can be jarring to a child, fracturing their sense of normalcy and stability. While their mind is spinning with thoughts of everything that’s going to change, try to help them focus on what won’t change. This will help them center on the stability and routine that they can grasp onto as things around them begin to feel outside of their control.

Be prepared going into your divorce

We know you have a lot to think about as you prepare to navigate your divorce. Although it can be overwhelming to think about all the changes you’re bound to face, you can’t let them paralyze you into inaction. You need to take control of your divorce so that you can attain the outcome that’s best for you and your children. If you want to learn more about what it takes to get there, then please continue to read our blog and our website.