Gauging your children’s reactions to your impending divorce can be tough when you are unsure how to talk to them about the topic.
Speaking clearly and directly, as well as following some common pieces of advice, can help you explain the change without any unnecessary stress.
Keep the details age appropriate
According to Psychology Today, some children may not understand what divorce means or what it will mean for their daily lives. Some may blame themselves, or assume that if they did something differently, their parents would still be together.
In order to calm their worries, do not add too many details to your explanation of why you and your ex-spouse are splitting up. Avoid overwhelming your children with complex stories or reasons why the divorce is happening. Keeping your explanation simple and direct is the best way to break the news.
Badmouthing your ex-spouse in front of your children can lead to a fractured relationship with both your ex-spouse and your children. While explaining the divorce, make sure to keep the conversation polite and free of passive aggressiveness.
Even if you both are no longer married, you are responsible for co-parenting together. Communicating respectfully and being supportive of your shared parenting goals demonstrates to your children they still must respect their parents.
Expect your children to have a lot of questions, including ones that seem odd or confusing. Do not rush this process, but let them talk openly about what they think or feel.
A divorce is a big change, but remind your children that not everything is changing in their lives. Showing them that you will always be there to support them can help it seem less scary.