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Tips for telling your kids about your divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Divorce

A decision to divorce is a significant matter. For parents, taking the time to plan for how to tell their children is a primary concern during this decision-making process.

Because this is a major change for the children, it’s critical that the parents put their needs first so the kids don’t suffer more than necessary. The following tips might help to reduce the stress of telling children about a divorce.

Choose the right time and setting

Selecting an appropriate time and setting is crucial when telling children about their parents’ divorce. Aim for a moment when the children are likely to feel secure and when there is enough time to discuss their feelings and answer questions.

A quiet, comfortable, and familiar place can help make this difficult conversation a little easier. If possible, ensure both parents are present to send a message of unity and support.

Be honest but keep it age-appropriate

Honesty is essential when discussing divorce with children, but the information shared should be appropriate for their age and maturity level. Explain the situation in clear, simple terms. Avoid unnecessary details that could cause confusion or distress. Children need reassurance that their parents’ love for them remains unchanged, even if other aspects of their lives are evolving.

Address changes in living arrangements

Children will naturally be concerned about changing their daily lives, so it’s important to discuss new living arrangements. Explain any immediate changes, such as who will be moving out and when, and reassure them about continuity in their routines regarding school and activities as much as possible. Emphasize that both parents will continue to be a part of their lives and that the love and care they receive won’t decrease.

Encourage questions and express emotions

Invite your children to ask questions and express their feelings about the divorce. They might need time to process the information before they know what to ask, so let them know it’s okay to come back later with questions. Listen to their concerns and validate their feelings. It’s also helpful for parents to express their emotions in a controlled way, as this can model healthy emotional expression and reassure children that it’s okay to feel sad or upset.

Co-parents should set up their parenting plan as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. This can help to ensure the children’s needs are met and that there’s a plan for future stability.

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