You may have concerns about how divorce will affect your children, but the experience is very common for many families today. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that out of every marriage today, one out of two ends in divorce.
Even still, divorce presents a major and disruptive change in the lives of your children. Here are some tips for telling your children about the impending change to help make hearing the news easier.
1. Present a unified front
Plan a time for your entire family to be together and for you and your spouse to sit down with your children. Write out what you intend to say beforehand with your spouse. Avoid blaming your spouse during this conversation or pointing fault at each other for the dissolution of your marriage.
2. Provide answers
Your children will probably have many questions about what will happen next. Prepare to answer as many of their questions to the fullest extent possible. For instance, plan on telling your children where they will live, what the next few weeks will look like, which parent will leave the home, etc.
3. Prepare for a range of emotions
Your children will likely react in different ways than you would expect to the news of your divorce. These emotions may range from hurt and anger to sadness and despair. Remember that you need to be there for your children after the conversation and in the many weeks following to help them cope with their emotions.