Deciding that it is time to call it quits in your marriage can devastate your family. Even when you know breaking up is for the best, it is still complex for you and your partner. When facing your kids, the conversation becomes exponentially more difficult.
According to Psychology Today, kids will most likely remember the conversation into adulthood. What you say to them will matter for a long time.
Be honest and upfront
Talk to your kids as a couple, if you can. If you try to sugarcoat the divorce, your kids may have the wrong idea. Kids could believe that you and your spouse only want a break but will not divorce. Do not give children false hope. Instead, be open and honest about the divorce. Do not leave anything open-ended. Based on your kids’ age, you can choose how much to tell them about the reasons for the divorce.
Reassure your kids
Accept how your kids feel. Some may react positively and others may openly respond with anger or sadness. Remember that kids who do not react angrily may tend to hide emotions. Let them feel how they feel and allow them to come to you with their emotions. If your kids do not want to discuss it immediately, let them take time and keep the door open for a discussion. Children need to know that you and your partner still care about them and they have no impact on the divorce.
Kids do not always need every detail regarding the divorce. Determine your child’s maturity level and how much he or she can understand.