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How to Tell Kids You’re Getting a Divorce

By Child Mind Institute

children and divorce

Delivering the news to your children when going through a #divorce can be one of the most challenging aspects of the process. However, careful planning and communication between you and your soon-to-be #ex-spouse can help ease the impact on the kids. It's crucial to convey to them that despite the changes, things will be okay. The most effective way to communicate this message is by both parents sitting down together, demonstrating a united front. Even though you won't be living together, emphasize that you'll continue to parent as a team. If both parents can't be present, the one who will be more involved in the children's daily lives should take on this responsibility.

Tailor your message based on the age of your children, avoiding overwhelming them with excessive information. Expect them to have numerous questions and answer them as honestly and reassuringly as possible. Providing a basic timeline of how events will unfold can help ease their uncertainty. Since divorce timelines can vary, it might be beneficial to encourage your children to start thinking of you as divorced. Address their concerns about living arrangements and visitation schedules with the other parent.

When discussing the divorce, avoid discussing financial matters in front of the children, and refrain from speaking negatively about your ex-spouse. Maintain a friendly atmosphere, even if it doesn't accurately reflect your feelings, as this approach is consistently in the best interest of the children.

Children react differently to news of divorce, displaying emotions such as anger, guilt, or sadness. Be prepared for questions about potential #remarriage, reassuring them that your love for them remains unwavering. Emphasize that no one will ever replace them, even if you decide to remarry in the future. The key is to ensure that your children feel loved and secure amidst the changes.

Learn more from Jamie Howard, PhD, a psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, in the link below.


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