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6 tips for telling the children you are getting divorced

You and your spouse have decided to get divorced, and you have talked about it for months. You've already made a lot of plans for how you want it to happen and you both agree that it is what you want.

Now you just have to tell the children. This can be a rather tough conversation. Below are six tips that can help:

  1. Pick the right setting. Make sure the kids are comfortable and relaxed. They may remember this conversation for a long time. Don't just blurt it out.
  2. Never make assumptions about the kids' feelings and reactions. They all take this news differently. Just be prepared to support them.
  3. Do not make any children keep secrets by having the talk with them one at a time. Some parents think older kids need to know sooner, for instance, but it's actually better to gather the entire family so no one gets left out.
  4. Be honest and let the kids ask questions. Give them the answers they want. Withholding information just confuses them and makes it harder.
  5. Do not drag it out. Don't tell them you're getting divorced and then wait for months to even start the process. It's easiest if you move quickly so everyone can begin adjusting.
  6. Never blame the kids or your spouse. Sit down with your spouse first, decide what you want to say and present a unified front. Always assure the kids that they did not cause this. They'll worry about it, even if it is irrational.

While these tips can help you break the news, make sure you also spend time looking into all of your parental rights.

Source: Psychology Today, "Mom and Dad Have Something to Tell You: Six Tips for Talking to Kids About Divorce," Kevin D. Arnold, accessed June 01, 2018

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