If you get to the point in your marriage where things will only begin to improve if you and your spouse are no longer married any longer, this decision is only the beginning of a long road of separating the lives you’ve built together. Especially if you have children together, explaining the changes that are about to take place can be very difficult. So to help make this aspect of your divorce a little easier for you to work through, here are three tips for talking to your kids about your impending divorce.
Create The Right Environment
This is going to be a major life change not only for you and your spouse, but also for each of your children. Because of this, the experience of learning about your divorce is going to be something they remember for a very long time. To get the breaking of this new correct, Dr. Kevin D. Arnold, a contributor to Psychology Today, recommends that you create the right environment for this conversation. Go to a place where your child can feel safe letting out whatever emotions he or she may have. Also, try to keep the conversation as free of hostility as possible.
Speak Simply Yet Straightforwardly
Depending on the age of your children, the amount of explanation regarding your divorce will vary. But if your child is old enough to understand any level of what’s going on, Patricia-Anne Tom, a contributor to PopSugar.com, recommends that you speak simply yet straightforwardly regarding what’s happened and what’s happening. Because children are often more perceptive than they’re given credit for, they likely know more about the situation already than you might assume. So to be safe, simply explain that you and your spouse don’t get along very well anymore and that it will be better if you no longer live together. You can answer their questions, but try not to go into any deep details.
Give Them Reassurance
To help your child feel safe in this upside down world they’re now a part of, the Child Development Institute recommends that you do all you can to reassure your child about your love for them. As children get older, it’s common that they begin to blame themselves for their parent’s divorce. This can make things even harder on your child. So to avoid this if at all possible, try to tell your children that you both still love them and that nothing that’s happening now is any of their fault. Also, let them know that you want them to be able to express any thoughts or feelings that they’re having so you can try to make things as easy as possible.
If you and your spouse are going to get divorced, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you broach this topic with your children.