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How do I tell our kids about divorce?

Breaking the news about your impending divorce to your social circle is a hard process; however, approaching your kids with the news is many orders of magnitude more difficult. Children may have a variety of reactions to the news, and none of them are likely to be good.

However, there are a few steps you can take to make the news easier on your children. According to Help Guide, it is very important to be entirely honest with your children during this process, and to avoid blaming the other parent.

Honesty

Your kids need to know why you are getting a divorce. However, what you tell them needs to be age-appropriate. It is unlikely that your five-year-old has as much ability to grasp details as your 15-year-old does. Something as simple as, “We no longer get along,” can help explain this to younger children.

It is also important to take your children’s questions seriously during this process. Things will change in their lives and it is important to acknowledge this. Particularly if the divorce will involve moving away from your current neighborhood, it is important not to “sugar coat” this.

Avoid blaming

Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are not on good terms, remember that your ex is still your child’s other parent. It is best to present a united front about the reasons for the divorce and to try and be as neutral about the reasons for the divorce as possible. It is best to speak with the children with both parents present if at all possible.

Divorce is difficult on children. However, how difficult it ends up becoming is highly dependent on how you, as the parents, handle it.