When you decide to end your marriage, many things will change in your life. You may have concerns about your future as well as how these changes will impact your children.
Even though divorce can feel overwhelming, it is a common experience for many couples and their children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, 792,038 divorces and annulments in the U.S. occurred. Although your children are likely very resilient, there are steps you should take while telling them about your divorce to help them cope.
Before the conversation
Plan out a time to sit down with your kids and tell them about your impending divorce that is free from distraction and not before a major event, like a birthday. Consider writing down a script or a general outline about what you and your spouse will tell your children.
During the conversation
Maintain your composure as you talk to your children about your divorce. Do not blame your spouse for the dissolution of your marriage and instead, present a united front to your children. Plan to answer any questions your children have as thoroughly as possible.
After the conversation
Your children may experience a myriad of emotions ranging from anger and sadness to relief and anxiousness after you tell them about your divorce. Help them cope with these emotions and prepare for what is to come by listening to them, spending time with them and addressing their fears as much as you can. If you feel like your children need extra support, seek out a therapist or a counselor for them to talk to.