Divorce is not a topic that most children think about, at least not until it is
necessary to do so. That is why it can be overwhelming to try and figure
out how to break the news to your kids. It is a conversation that must
be handled with care because it is a moment that will potentially have
a big impact on your children. It is a big change for everyone involved.
That is why you should proceed with care and compassion.
Choose a Right Time
Although there might never be the “perfect” time to tell your
child such bad news, there are some better moments to talk to them. Before
you have the conversation with your kids, make sure that you and your
spouse have confirmed the divorce. There is no reason to worry your child
prematurely when you are not sure of the split.
You should also choose a moment where you and your family have time to
talk. You want to tell your children at a moment where you can listen
to their concerns and answer any questions they may have. This means don’t
tell them right before they have to go to school or an extracurricular
activity. Also, be mindful of their school schedule. There’s nothing
worse than when a child has to deal with divorce and finals simultaneously.
Keep It Simple
Tell your children only the details they need to know. You do not want
to start sharing specifics that will either confuse them or cause them
to choose one parent over the other. Depending on how old your child is,
you may want to stick with simple sentences. Let them know that one parent
may move out soon and that this will help with the constant arguing and
Present a United Front
Although you and your spouse have decided to dissolve your marriage, you
should still break the news of divorce together. Gather the family together,
and tell them at once. That would eliminate one child knowing before another.
It will also show the kids that you are willing to work together for what
is best for them.
Avoid Blaming Each Other
Regardless of whether the divorce is consensual or conflicted, you should
not blame your spouse in front of you children. You need to remember that
what you say about the other parent will affect the way your child views
them. That is why you should keep things neutral and polite between the
two of you when the children are around.
Explain to Them It’s Not Their Fault
Children have an uncanny ability of internalizing conflict. When you discuss
the topic of divorce, ensure them that it is not their fault. Let them
know that you love them and that won’t change after the split. You
have to make sure to keep your kids’ interests in mind during this
At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, we understand how difficult matters
of divorce are. Our Rancho Cucamonga family law attorneys have experience
handling many different family law issues. For more information or guidance,
contact our specialist today.