Divorce is difficult for adults, but it can be devastating for kids. Keep reading this guest post to learn how to tell a child about divorce in a way that they’ll accept.
Even if your divorce is amicable, it may feel like a laundry list of insurmountable challenges. Chief of these is figuring out how to tell a child about divorce.
You love your kids and want them to know what’s going on. Yet you don’t want to burden them unnecessarily or make them feel caught in the middle.
Here are a few tactics for talking to your kids about what’s happening and what the future holds. With these in mind, you can pave the way for a peaceful break-up.
1. Kindness and Gentleness
The key on how to tell your kid about divorce is to expect kickback. Your kids may know plenty of other families that are divorced, or they may only know one example and it could be a bad one. Depending on their perspective, the news of your split might be a huge trauma.
Choose the location and setting for your conversation carefully, because it’s a moment they’ll remember for a long time. Always stay patient and kind, even if they lash out at you.
If you’ve kept your difficulties well hidden, it will come as a shock and children may not know what they’re feeling or how to communicate. Let them know it’s okay to feel a myriad of ways, and that there isn’t a right or wrong question. Invite them to talk about their emotions as much as they’re able to.
2. Plan Ahead: How to Tell a Child About Divorce
Another big part of how to tell a kid about divorce is having a plan in place before you tell them. Work things out with your spouse before you bring the children into the picture, especially details that may cause contention.
There are some serious benefits to peaceful parenting after divorce, including protecting them from the psychological effects of a split. While working out parenting time, child support, and other considerations is a challenge, it’s worth it to tackle them before telling the kids.
You’ll be able to answer any questions they have, and you won’t be as emotional as if you were in the midst of negotiations. Ask your spouse, “What do you think about how to tell kids about our divorce?” Make sure you’re a united front before you have the conversation.
3. Tell Everyone
Don’t single out some kids to tell. It may seem logical to tell your older child first. They may figure out that something’s going on a lot sooner than the younger children and start asking questions.
Yet shouldering them with the burden of keeping your news a secret isn’t fair. Don’t make them feel responsible for something that intense. It will increase their sadness and feelings of loneliness, and it could damage their relationship with their siblings.
If you’re searching for answers about “how to tell my kids about my divorce?” the best way is to sit everyone down together and tell them all at once. You may get different reactions from different age groups, but it’s a more compassionate strategy.
Making the Best of It
It’s not easy to figure out how to tell a child about divorce, especially if it’s going to directly affect them. It’s important to do it kindly, and with a plan in mind. Everything is a teaching moment so keep your emotions and personal opinions out of it as much as possible.
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*This post was written by a guest author and does not reflect the views and opinions of The Fashionable Housewife team.