When you decide to get divorced, you can’t avoid telling others about it. You have to tell your family and friends so they can support you during the process. You have to share the news with your employer so you can change your benefits. Your creditors will also want to hear about it, so they can help you make financial arrangements. Unfortunately, you also have to tell your kids, which is the hardest part. It won’t be easy no matter what, but here are a few tips to keep in mind that can help lessen the blow.
Skip the Details. Your kids will have a lot of questions about what’s going to happen and what caused this. While this is expected and you should answer everything you can, remember that they don’t need to know all the details. Even if they’re old enough to understand what divorce means, leave out the particulars. Keep your divorce papers put away and don’t talk about legalities when they can hear you.
Do It Together. Even though you and your spouse are most likely not getting along too well at this point, it’s a good idea to sit down with the children together. Kids naturally want their parents to be together, and this will help them understand that this is something you both agree on. It also shows that the two of you are still their parents, no matter what.
Be Sure. It can be tough to make the final decision to get a divorce. Many couples waver a few times before they start the process. Make sure that the split is really going to happen before you sit the kids down. Otherwise, they’ll be confused when Mom and Dad are suddenly back together again and then once more about to divorce.
Be Nice. No matter how tempting it may be, don’t badmouth each other. Your kids will already be hurt by the idea of their parents being apart, and it will only hurt them more to hear you call names or judge each other. Keep your opinions out of your conversations and stick to the facts that are relevant to your kids.
Reassure Them. Sometimes children blame themselves for their parents getting divorced, even if they don’t vocalize it. Let them know that they didn’t do anything to cause it, and that you both still love them very much. They’re going to need a lot of support to get through it, just as you will.
Remember that telling your kids about your impending divorce is something that is not going to be easy. Tell them only what they need to know and assure them that they will always be loved and cared for. It will be just as bit of a transition for them as well, but some sensitivity and kindness will certainly go a long way.