When you get divorced, you may wonder how you will overcome certain challenges. One of these challenges may involve your children and helping them through the divorce process.
If you and your spouse recently decided to end your marriage, you may wonder how to tell your children about your plans. Although you should be upfront and honest about this decision with your children, there are several things to do during this conversation to protect their wellbeing.
Carefully choose the time and the place
While the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the divorce rate declined from 2011 to 2021, many parents still decide to divorce and must hold a conversation informing their children of their plans. Timing is important when it comes to talking to your children about divorce. Select a time when you can have their full attention without interruptions and find a quiet, comfortable space where your children can express their feelings without feeling rushed.
Plan what you will say
Before you sit down with your children, plan what you want to say. Be clear and concise in your explanation. Use age-appropriate language to ensure your children understand the situation and avoid using confusing or technical terms.
Present a united front
If possible, both you and your spouse should be present for this conversation. This sends the message that you are still a team when it comes to your children’s well-being.
Children often blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. Reassure your children that this is not their fault and that both you and your spouse love them deeply. Emphasize that the divorce is about your relationship with each other, not your relationship with them.
Keep a close eye on your children’s emotional well-being in the weeks and months following the divorce conversation. If you notice significant changes in their behavior or emotions, consider seeking professional help to assist them with processing their feelings.