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How should you approach the topic of divorce with your children?

When you and your partner choose to divorce, your kids quickly become the number one priority to tell. However, despite the importance of the discussion, it can be difficult to know how to start the conversation.

Divorce is difficult and often traumatic for all parties involved, but you can help alleviate your children’s stress when approaching the conversation as a team.

Start your conversation with a plan

Approaching your children together may feel difficult if you and your spouse have a combative relationship. However, if you can come together to work out a plan to talk to your kids, you will show your children that you can work together for their best interests.

Schedule a time that works for you and your children. Do not plan the discussion on holidays or other special days. You do not want to ruin special days with news of the divorce. Try to discuss the divorce on a day with no obligations.

Be clear with what happens next

Kids need certainty and stability. Explain to them what will change when you divorce. This includes talking about how they will have two households. You also need to speak to them about what will stay the same. For example, if they can remain in the same school, they may need this reassurance. Also, be clear that your relationship with your children will not change.

When delivering the news, remember that sadness, fear and anger are all natural emotions. Encourage your kids to express themselves to you.