Some children can sense when their parents are fighting and changes are coming, but others are oblivious and may be caught off-guard at the news of divorce. If you are divorcing and you have children, how you tell them can make a huge difference in how they process the news.
It is almost impossible to completely protect your children from damage done during a divorce, and your children may have traumatic memories about the time. The best thing you can do as parents is present a united front and show your children that both parents will still love and care for them.
Stop with the blame
If the divorce is tense and emotional, it is easy to blame your spouse or partner for the problems, but this does no good for your kids. They still love both parents and struggle to separate the problem from the parent they know. Consult with a therapist or other professional to determine how much each child should know about the reasons behind the divorce based on their age at the time of the divorce.
Keep divorce as short and sweet as possible
A long, drawn-out divorce can be extremely difficult for your children. It can take years to settle all the issues involved in ending a marriage, but this does no good for your kids. Once you decide to end the marriage, get all your affairs in order and have a plan before you tell your kids.
Keep communication lines open
Your children will have many questions, some you do not even see coming. To help them process these questions and their feelings, talk to them regularly about what they are dealing with. Dealing with a divorce is a process and not something that can be achieved in one day.
Speak to a lawyer
If you protect your rights and interests during a divorce, you have more time and energy to focus on helping your kids. Once you determine that ending the marriage is the best option for you, speak to an attorney about handling the details so you can take the time you need to help your kids process.