You and your spouse have decided to divorce and now you need to tell your children about this decision. This marks a major turning point in your divorce, and you worry about how your children will react to and cope with this life change.
Many couples with children get divorced every year, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. To help your children through this time, there are several things you should do before, during and after this conversation.
Plan what you will say
It is easy to get caught up in emotion when you tell your children that you intend to end your marriage. Sit down with your spouse before this conversation and write down exactly what you want to tell your children.
Pick a time carefully
Your children will likely remember when you told them about your divorce, so choose a time to have this conversation carefully. Bring all your children together at once and pick a time that does not conflict with an important event, like a birthday.
Provide answers and information
Your children will want answers and information about your parenting plan, what will happen next and who they will live with. Provide as much information as you can and avoid blaming your spouse for the end of your marriage.
Your children may exhibit a wide variety of emotions when you tell them about your divorce, and many of these you may not expect. Plan on providing extra reassurance and attention to your children in the days following this conversation.