Once you decide to divorce, your children should be among the first people to find out. Aside from you, they are the ones whose lives will be most affected.
It’s never an easy conversation, yet with a little preparation, it can be the first of many that will help ease them through this challenging moment.
Find the right time and place
There is never a right time, but there are plenty of wrong times. For example:
- When your child has a major exam coming up
- When they are already having a difficult week because a close friend is in the hospital
- When you will be away for the next few days
The right place means somewhere where you can talk with the necessary privacy, without having to shout over loud music or without it endangering you, such as when driving.
Discuss what you will say with your spouse
It does not matter whether you tell the kids together or apart, provided you do not give contradictory messages. Here are some things you should avoid saying:
- It is anyone’s fault: You might believe it is all your spouse’s fault, yet blaming them will only hurt your kids. It is better to say that marriages do not always work out and leave it at that.
- Anything you do not know to be true: You cannot yet know how everything will work out. Being honest and saying so is far better than promising your kids something you cannot fulfill.
Be prepared to listen and ask for help
Your children will have questions, even if it takes them several days or weeks to think of them. You, too, will have questions about your divorce, so make sure you get legal help to resolve them.