Most children do not want to hear that their parents plan to divorce. While it is often for the best, how parents tell their children can shape how they feel about it. According to the Huffington Post, children who have a strong relationship with their parents and experience minimal conflict adjust to divorce easier.
How can you have a productive conversation with your children about divorce?
Have the Conversation As a Family
When you show solidarity with your co-parent your children will not receive two separate stories or confuse the reasons for the divorce. To have a conversation together tells your children that you made a mutual decision. Be as straight-forward as possible and make sure to tell your children that the divorce is not their fault and that both of you love them.
Do Not Go Into Depth About the Divorce
You need to be careful about how much you tell your children. They do not need to be a part of adult matters and do not need to know the details, regardless of the age of your children. Keep all divorce documents out of sight and do not discuss the divorce with them. You should also be careful about discussing the case, especially custody issues or child support, with others when your children are nearby and should ask you family and friends to refrain from discussing any issues regarding the divorce with your children. If there is a custody evaluation, be as natural as possible and do not coach your children.
Choose a Day Where You Have Extra Time
Choosing what time to tell your kids that you are splitting up with your spouse can be difficult. You need to be sure that you do not have to rush the conversation. Do not break the news to your children on a day where they have practices or recitals. Plenty of time should be set aside after the conversation in order to reassure your children and to be there for them.