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How to break the news of divorce to your children

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | DIVORCE - Divorce |

Navigating a divorce is challenging, but navigating it around your children creates more obstacles. Divorce changes the family’s dynamic and disrupts your children’s routine and security. While divorce can affect children negatively in the short term, it can be beneficial long term. Kids perform better in stable homes without fighting.

However, you must prepare the initial conversation to ease the blow of divorce.

Plan the discussion with your spouse

If you and your spouse can discuss your children without fighting, consider having the conversation together. Kids react better when they see their parents working together for their sake. You do not want your kids to hear the news from family members, friends or through social media. Instead, ensure you and your spouse are the first they hear from.

Have a plan before you enter the conversation. You and your spouse should not have different narratives or goals.

Provide a general explanation for the divorce

While you do not and should not give your kids excessive or specific details about the divorce, you do want to give them some idea about why it happened. You do not have to tell them about your personal experiences with your spouse or lay the blame on any one person. For example, tell your children that you have different goals in life or that you no longer love one another but do not blame each other. Older children may ask for more details, and you can decide the appropriateness of those details.

While you should tell all your kids about the divorce simultaneously, you can follow up with older kids later.