The conversation with your children about your upcoming divorce is a very important one, as it is a pivotal moment in their lives. It is crucial that you understand how to break this news properly and how to support them through what can be a challenging time — even when you, as a parent, feel that divorce is the right decision.
The biggest thing you and your spouse need to stress to the children that you both love them. As such, it’s wise to have this conversation together. Don’t race to be the first to tell the kids or try to win their allegiance. Instead, you and your spouse should sit down with the children together and talk about how much you care about them and how that is never going to change. At the same time, tell them repeatedly that the divorce is in no way their fault.
Your children are also going to have questions, and this is when honesty is so important. That doesn’t mean you have to tell them all of the details that led to your breakup, but don’t make things up, stretch the truth or try to disguise what is going on. Be honest, be open and embrace this conversation. Again, that shows your children how much you care.
Before the conversation begins, talk to your spouse. No matter how the two of you feel, agree to keep the conversation with the kids civil. Don’t blame each other. Don’t argue. Don’t make it an emotional event. Focus on creating a united front and telling the kids that you’ll be there for them.
As you move close to your divorce, take the time to look into all of your legal options, especially concerning child custody decisions.