While all divorces have an emotional impact, they are especially trying when you have kids. That is why the way you talk to your kids about your divorce is so important.
Psychology Today recommends the following strategies when discussing divorce with your children. While you cannot take away their negative emotions, you can reassure them of a lasting, loving bond with you and your former spouse.
Break the news together
Spending time with your ex is challenging in the lead up to a divorce. However, when it comes to your kids, you should inform them of your divorce together if at all possible. Children must understand that the demise of your marriage has nothing to do with them or the love you have for them. Plan what you are going to say first to prevent strong emotions from taking over during the conversation.
Do not blame your spouse
Honesty is important when talking to your kids about divorce, but do not feel the need to provide too much detail. This is especially true if infidelity or another grown-up issue played a role in the process. You should also avoid blaming your spouse for what occurred, regardless of how you feel about the matter. It is OK to have an opinion about your ex and what happened between you, but your children do not need to know about it.
Choose the right time
No matter how carefully you break the news, your children will need time to process it. Make sure you provide them this courtesy by choosing the best day and time to have your discussion. The start of the weekend is ideal, since kids will have two days to process their feelings before returning to school. Try not to have the talk just before bedtime, or your child is likely to experience a sleepless night. Also, wait until a major holiday or event, such as a birthday, has passed if you can help it.
Children usually have plenty of questions, and it is up to you to answer them in a meaningful way. While it will take time, your child will eventually acclimate to the situation and enjoy a happy life with both parents.