If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, you should tell your children sooner than later. However, because divorce has a profound impact on kids of all ages, you want to approach the conversation in a certain way.
All children will react to the news in their way, but the more upfront you are, the easier it typically is for them.
Maintain a united front
Most experts recommend that the parents tell the children together. This shows the children that you are a united front as parents and are both still there for them, no matter what the future brings.
How to tell children of different ages
According to Today’s Parent, how you should approach the situation varies based on the ages of the children. Even if you initially tell the children together, you may want to talk separately with each child to address their particular concerns.
For example, younger children need assurances about smaller things and how their routines will change. They typically need more affection and reassurance that it is not their fault. Older children and teens often want more details about how it will affect their lives.
Be honest without sharing all details
The message should be honest, simple and clear. You do not need to explain exactly what led to the decision nor should you place blame on either parent.
Support all reactions
Understand that some kids will have a strong reaction at first, while others may need some time to process the information. Answer all their questions the best you can, let them know you will always love them and support any emotions.
Though negative emotions are practically inevitable, you and your spouse can mitigate these reactions with sympathy and understanding.