If you are a parent who has decided to get a divorce, you may have spent countless hours worrying about how to tell the children about the split. There are many things to keep in mind when choosing how and when to tell your children about the end of your marriage. Every parent facing this difficult conversation hopes that it will go as smoothly as possible. Understandably, many children are upset when they hear about the forthcoming separation, but research shows that there are several steps parents can take to minimize the distraught caused by breaking the news of divorce to their kids.
Do Not Tell Children About the Divorce Until You Are Totally Certain
If you and your spouse have discussed the possibility of separating, but there is still a chance that you will stay together, you should wait to discuss this with children. For example, if a couple is experiencing extreme conflict or disconnectedness, but they both believe that there is still a possibility of saving the marriage, they should not bring the children into the situation. If you and your spouse both agree that you are beyond the point of reconciliation, you may be ready to tell your children about the separation.
Break the News With Your Spouse
One way parents can help comfort children and reduce the trauma caused by the news of divorce is by delivering the news as a team. If possible, most experts suggest that parents should be together when they tell the children about their plans to separate. Sitting with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse while explaining the situation to the children helps assure the children that although their parents are divorcing each other, the parent-child relationship remains intact.