There is one conversation that ever divorcing parent dreads, and it involves telling your kids about the divorce. This is never easy, but if you do it the right way, you can -- at the very least -- make the process easier on your kids.
A successful divorce conversation requires parents to deliver some specific and positive messages to their children. It also requires follow-up. Be sure to constantly convey these messages to your kids again and again before, during and after your breakup:
- Mom and dad have tried for a long time to make it work, and after a long time, we've finally come to this decision.
- The decision to divorce doesn't have anything to do with the kids. It's an adult decision, and the children couldn't have done anything "better," nor could they have "behaved better" in order to prevent the divorce.
- Neither Mom nor Dad have blamed one another for this. The children can keep loving the other parent without worrying that they have betrayed or been disloyal to the other parent. There is no blame in this divorce.
- It's normal if you feel angry, sad, worried or curious about what your future will look like.
- We continue to be a family. It's just that our family is beginning to change. Mom and dad will be living separately, but you will still see both parents on a regular basis.
If you're ready to divorce, and you and your spouse have discussed the matter, then it will be time to speak with your kids. Be sure to present a united front by addressing the issue together. You may also want to finalize what your child custody arrangements will look like by investigating the various plans that may be appropriate for your situation.