How to tell your children you’re getting divorced

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Child custody

Sometimes, the most challenging aspect of your impending divorce is when and how you will tell your family and friends. Even more difficult is knowing when and how to tell your children.

It may be a conversation you wish to delay as long as possible, but there are several reasons why it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.

A significant life change

While it’s important not to wait too long to tell your children about the divorce, you also don’t want to do it too soon. It’s essential that you and your partner are absolutely sure about the division to divorce. You should also have a clear plan on how the divorce will proceed, including living arrangements, custody and a co-parenting plan.

You and your partner must decide on the right time and place to have this conversation with your children. Avoid holidays and special events, such as birthdays. Choose a calm, private setting where your children feel safe and secure.

If possible, both parents should be present. This can help reassure your children that even though your relationship with each other is changing, you are both committed to their well-being.

Keep your conversation simple and age-appropriate. Explain the situation honestly, but avoid sharing unnecessary details and blaming each other.

Your children will probably experience a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, confusion and anxiety. Let them know that it’s okay for them to feel this way and encourage them to express their feelings. Listen to their concerns and respond with empathy and understanding. 

Children need structure, so try to keep their daily routines consistent. This predictability can help them feel more secure during times of change.

After the initial conversation, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and check in regularly with your children to see how they are feeling and address any new concerns. While it may be challenging, the realization that they are loved and supported by both parents will help your children adjust to their new reality.