Divorce can instigate major changes in your life as well as in the lives of your children. Your children may have to start splitting time between two households, attend a different school and get used to having separated parents.
Even though divorce happens to many families (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 782,038 couples divorced or annulled their marriage in 2018), you may feel unsure about how to tell your children. Success during this conversation depends on choosing a good time to tell your children and planning out what you will say.
Figuring out a time for the conversation
You should pick a time to tell your children about your divorce a few weeks before you and your spouse plan on separating. If possible, you and your spouse should tell the children together. Choose a time to tell your children that is not before a major event and where all your children can be together at once. For example, you should not have this conversation the night before one of your children’s birthdays.
Preparing for the conversation
Before you tell your children about your impending separation and divorce, write out a script that outlines what you will say. Plan on your children experiencing a variety of emotions, ranging from frustration and fear to anger and sadness.
Telling your children that you have decided to end your marriage is never easy. But as long as you present a united, caring front with your spouse, your children will have an easier time coping with what is to come throughout the divorce process.