Whether they always make it clear or not, children are remarkably observant. If your marriage is falling apart, your children may even realize that something is wrong before you do. This reality, however, does not make it any easier to tell them that you and their other parent are getting divorced. Choosing when to have the conversation, obviously, is an important consideration, as you do not want to break the news for the first time while one of you is literally walking out the door. There are few things to keep in mind as you figure out the best time to talk to your children.
No Turning Back
Your children rely on you and your spouse for stability. This, of course, is part of what makes many divorcing parents feel like they have failed. Divorce is not an acknowledgment of failure; rather, it can be the doorway to happier and healthier situation for everyone involved. However, it should not be taken lightly. Do not tell your children that you are separating or divorcing unless it is actually going to happen. Children are resilient, but most will not deal well with a “we told you we were getting divorced, but we changed our minds” approach. If you have decided to separate but have not made a decision on divorce yet, tell your children that. Explain that you are not sure what will happen, but that their current reality is changing.