How do you tell your child about the divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2021 | Family Law |

After deciding on a split, you and your co-parent must work through the situation together. But do not forget about your children. Although they are not involved in the divorce directly, it will still impact their lives in a big way.

One of the first things you should do is tell your child about it. Let them know what to expect along with the divorce. But is there a “best” way to do this?

Tailor your approach

Psychology Today examines ways to tell your child about the divorce. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all way of approaching the topic. What works for your best friend’s child might not work for yours. You need to tailor an individual plan based on the advice you hear and your child’s personality.

Take their age and maturity level into consideration, too. Different age groups have different reactions, as they have different processing capabilities. Older children can understand the nuance and complication more. Younger children will likely need a simplified version.

Work with your co-parent

Next, work with your co-parent closely. You do not want to give out two different stories. This will only confuse your child. Agree on how to present the divorce. Discuss what information you will leave out. Talk about the questions you are willing to answer and how you will address them.

Prepare yourself for an onslaught of questions, too. Draw your boundaries before you have the discussion and do not cross them. Your child deserves information, but you do not owe them the entire story. Chances are, it is not appropriate for children to have the full details anyway.

Once you have a base plan worked out, tell them as soon as possible. This gives them more time to process the information, which is better for everyone in the end.