While it is you that is getting a divorce, it will affect your children’s lives too. When working out what to say, you need to look at it from their point of view. How will your divorce affect them?
Whatever led to the break up of your marriage has passed. Your children will not benefit from a blow-by-blow account of why your marriage failed. Speak in more general terms if you wish to give a reason for your divorce. For example, you no longer love each other, or you both want different things out of life.
Focus on the future when discussing divorce with children
Tell your children how divorce will change their life, and how it won’t change it. For example, they will need to move to a new house, but they will still spend time with you and their other parent. You might also tell them they won’t be with you at Thanksgiving, but they will be for Christmas. Do not be afraid to admit that you do not yet have all of the details worked out.
The one thing to avoid when speaking with your kids is saying anything bad about the other parent. Doing so will not only make it uncomfortable for your kids, but it will hurt them and weaken their sense of stability.
Children will react in different ways to the news that you are divorcing. Keep an eye on them and keep checking in with how they are feeling. This will be crucial not only now but for years to come. Some children show their emotions; others keep them well hidden.
The good news is that children are resilient and soon get used to new situations. Think back to their first day at school and how terrifying that seemed at the time. Within a few weeks, it was as if they had been there forever. Having help to handle your divorce in an efficient and conciliatory manner will make it easier for you and your children to move on.