The only thing that may be more difficult than going through a divorce is telling the children about it. Unfortunately, this is one conversation you can't exactly put off having. The bright side is there are some steps you can take and things you can keep in mind to make the talk easier on both you and your child.
Give Thought to How and Where You Break The News
An in-depth study conducted on children of divorce suggests that the memory of being told their parents are getting a divorce remains fresh in children's mind regardless of how long ago they were told. For a lot of children, this memory is also a source of great pain. For this reason, it is vital to give a lot of thought to how you tell your child or children about the divorce. In order to make the news easier on your child, here are some things you can try:
A United Front: It is vital for you and your soon-to-be ex to sit down and have the conversation with your children. It is also important for you to have the talk with all of your children at the same time. Telling your oldest child first, for example, might seem like the best approach; however, it presents the risk of your oldest child telling the other child or children before you can. When you are having the conversation with your children, use the word "we" as much as possible when referring to you and their other parent. You need your children to know you and their other parent will still operate as a parental unit even though you are getting a divorce.
Write Down What You Will Say: This is not a conversation you are going to want to leave to chance. Both you and your ex should be clear on what you are going to say beforehand. The last thing you want to do is say something your ex does not want said or vice versa because it could lead to a fight.
Expect Your Children to Have Mixed Emotions
Chances are pretty good your children are not going to know how to feel after you tell them this news. They may be angry, sad, or even happy. The emotions and reactions your children have depends on the age of your children and what things were like prior to this talk. For example, if you and your ex spent a lot of time yelling and screaming, some of your children may be relieved.
Telling your children that your marriage is over is never going to be an easy conversation. Hopefully, the information above can make the conversation a little easier. For more information, talk to a divorce lawyer.