One of the most difficult times  for parents during a divorce is telling the children. You’ve never done this before so it’s perfectly reasonable that you need some advice. How to tell your children is a result of two important factors: when you tell them and how you tell them.

When

  • Tell your children only when you and your spouse have each accepted that you are getting a divorce.
  • Tell your children only when you are 100% sure you are getting a divorce.
  • Tell your children before you tell friends and family.
  • Tell your children when you are both calm.
  • Tell your children together.
  • Don’t tell your children on vacation.
  • Don’t tell your children at a public place (i.e. restaurant).
  • Don’t tell your children right before Christmas or in just before the end of school. Both are stressful times for kids.

How

  • Tell your children a consistent message from both parties.
  • Tell your children you each love them and this has nothing to do with them.
  • Your children will ask “why?” So, be prepared with answers, such as
    • We loved each other when we got married, but have grown part.
    • We are not making this decision to make things worse, we are doing it to make things better.
    • We know it hurts to hear this.
    • We have thought about this for a long time and this was not an easy decision to make, but it is the right decision for our family.
    • We are still Mommy and Daddy and will always be your parents.
    • This is about our problems. You are not the problem. We love you!
  • Be prepared to answer their questions about where they will live.

 

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