Getting a divorce is never an easy process. But if you and your spouse have kids, things can get even more difficult to navigate. And while you both might want to protect your kids at all costs, it’s important that you’re able to break the news to your kids about your divorce together and in the right way. So to help you be able to face this tough conversation during this unimaginable time in your lives, here are three things you should be sure to tell your kids when you break the news to them about your upcoming divorce.
Emphasize That No One Person Caused This, Especially Them
As soon as you say the words that you and your spouse are going to be getting a divorce, your kids are immediately going to have a million things going through their heads. One of the first thoughts they’ll likely encounter is the question of why this is happening. According to Dr. Michelle Rozen, a contributor to the Huffington Post, you should emphasize that no one person is the cause of your divorce, especially your kids. Even if this isn’t necessarily true, try not to make one of the parents appear to be the “bad guy” to your kids. Rather, simply state that you grew apart or would be happier if you weren’t married anymore. Make sure you restate multiple times that it’s not the fault of your children and nothing they did or could do would ever make you stop loving them.
Inform Them Of How Their Lives Will Be Now
After the initial shock of the announcement of your divorce starts to sink in, your kids will start to wonder how this new will affect their lives in both an immediate and long-term way. Knowing that this conversation will be coming, Dr. Megan Fleming, a contributor to Psych Central, recommends that you and your spouse come to the conversation already knowing how to answer questions like where everyone will be living and if there will be certain parts of life that will be changing, like schools or activities. As much as you can, try to get the input of your children where decisions regarding them are concerned.
Whatever They’re Feeling Is Normal and Okay
Once everything’s out in the open and your children are apprised of the situation, they’re going to be having a lot of feelings and emotions swirling around inside of them. While some of these might be things that you expected, some might come as a surprise to you. To help you deal with this, Deborah Bankhead, a contributor to DivorceMag.com, advises that you allow your children to feel whatever it is they’re feeling and simply support them as best you can. This is going to be a process, so give them time to go through everything they’re going through internally.
If you’re preparing to speak to your children about your imminent divorce, consider using the tips to help you prepare for this event.