Divorce has an impact on children, and it starts the moment that the child’s parents tell them about the upcoming split. When parents want what is best for their kids, it is important for them to think carefully about what this conversation means and how it will go. It is one that the child will likely remember for the rest of their life. It’s important to get it right.
With that in mind, here are a few tips that can help:
- Get the whole family together. You want both you and your spouse to do this together, and you also want all of the kids to find out at the same time.
- Never have the conversation too early. Only bring it up with your kids when you and your spouse have firmly decided to end the marriage, and you know it will happen.
- If possible, try to do it at a convenient time. For instance, divorce filings often go up in January because parents don’t want to do it around Christmas.
- Focus on love, communication and answering questions. Make this the type of conversation that really goes both ways, allowing your children to respond and ask any questions they have — rather than just telling them what will happen and then ending the family meeting.
- Stay away from the reasons for divorce, and never blame each other. The kids will ask why, and you want to answer honestly, but don’t spend the whole time digging into the details and blaming your spouse.
These tips can help things go well, and you want to keep that attitude as you move forward. Make sure you know what options you have and what steps you can take to put the children first.