Once a couple decides to end the marriage, the next step is to share the news with the children. This is a challenging conversation to have, but handling it correctly will help tremendously.
Depending on their ages, kids react to the news of divorce in different ways, and it is important to honor their feelings throughout the process.
Tell the children together
A divorce can tear a child’s life apart. According to Parents.com, it is best for both spouses to sit down together and explain what is happening. Presenting a united front demonstrates to the kids that, while the marriage is breaking up, both mom and dad are still there as parents. It is important to show that both will support each other as parents and will work together to take care of the kids.
If possible, let the kids know at the same time, even if they are different ages. This highlights a family dynamic. Plan for what you want to tell them, and make sure not to place blame. Acknowledge that there will be changes, but emphasize that both parents still love the kids very much.
Honor the child’s feelings
According to Psychology Today, the kids will more than likely have some type of emotional reaction to the news. Acknowledge their feelings and comfort them. As the children begin to digest the information, they will have follow-up questions. Make time and space to answer these questions as honestly and clearly as possible. Spend quality time with each child and try to keep the same routines to help the child feel more secure.