When preparing to enter a divorce arrangement with your co-parent, you likely have many questions about your kids. When do you tell them about the divorce? How should you break the news? And how much will your child even understand?
It is important to go over these concerns and questions thoroughly before making any decisions.
Make changes based on your child
Psychology Today looks into discussing divorce with children. First, a lot of this comes down to how your child is as an individual. Some children have a high level of maturity for their age, while others might lean low. Personality factors into things as well, along with a child’s ability to cope with stressful situations and negative or unpleasant news. Because this is such a highly personalized thing, it is tough for even experts to agree on how parents should tackle this big topic.
Do not wait to tell them
Outside of using your best judgment, the best thing you can do is break the news early on rather than waiting for a while. Giving them plenty of time in advance allows them to take as much time as they need to process their emotions. If you wait, they may feel “thrown into the deep end” and overwhelmed, without having the space they need to properly explore their emotions and reactions.
Finally, keep in good communication with your co-parent. You can work together to decide how you want to explain the divorce. Know what to keep to yourselves and what you want to share before you go into the conversation, and prepare for any questions your child might have. This preparation can go a long way in smoothening the conversation.