One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is breaking the news to your children. Of course, it is important to handle this conversation with care and sensitivity to help them cope with the changes that lie ahead.
Always prioritize your children’s well-being during the divorce process.
Choose the right time and place
Select a quiet and comfortable environment for the conversation. Ensure that you have enough time to talk without interruptions. It is optimal to discuss the divorce when both parents can be present to provide support and answer questions.
Be honest and age-appropriate
Explain the situation in a simple and honest manner that is appropriate for your child’s age and maturity level. Avoid sharing unnecessary details. Instead, focus on the fact that this decision will hopefully ensure a happier life for everyone.
Frame the decision as a collective one, forged through careful consideration by both parents. Steer clear of finger-pointing or assigning blame, for such actions can inadvertently make your children feel undue guilt and distress.
Emphasize that the children are not at fault
Arizona has a divorce rate of 2.7 divorces per 1,000 people. Many of these divorces involve children, and unfortunately, they often blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. Reassure them that the divorce is not their fault, and they had no role in causing it. Stress that your love for them remains unchanged.
Prepare for their emotions
Anticipate and prepare for a wide spectrum of emotional responses from your children, encompassing sadness, anger, confusion and perhaps even a sense of relief. Offer solace and unwavering reassurance, emphasizing the normalcy of the grieving process.
Answer their questions
Encourage your children to ask questions and express their concerns. Provide honest answers as best you can. If you do not know the answer to a question, let them know you will find out and get back to them.
Divorce can disrupt a child’s sense of stability. Collaborate with your ex to diligently uphold consistent routines and a secure environment for your children. This will help them feel secure during the transition.