Divorcing is never easy, especially when you have children. Even if you and your spouse know that divorce is the right choice, worrying about telling your children and how the divorce will affect them is natural.
The best way to break the news
There are many things you can do to make the experience easier on them. Telling your children that you are divorcing is often one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. Talk to your spouse and develop a plan for how and when you will tell them.
Do it together, if possible. Writing out a short script or outline first can help. Keep it short. Your kids are going to need time to process things and bombarding them with a long explanation can overwhelm and frighten them.
Find a healthy way to express your emotions
Once you and your spouse separate and your divorce process begins, there are going to be times you are angry, sad and emotional. Do your best to not show these feelings to your children.
Take advantage of your support system of family and friends if you need to talk about your emotions. If you do not have a strong support system, consider talking to a counselor.
Although it is going to feel impossible at times, put aside your feelings or any negative feelings toward your spouse and focus on your children. Spend time with them whenever possible, showing them that you are still there for them.
Allow them to make decisions
Divorce is often children’s first experience dealing with something major that is out of their control. Let them have control of minor things, such as choosing where you eat for dinner. This will help reduce their stress.
If possible, you and your spouse should continue to do things together with your children. This can show your children that parents can still be nice to each other even if they are not together.
Recognize that every situation is different
You could be in a situation where being around your spouse is simply not an option and will cause more problems. That’s fine. Continue to spend time with your children alone and focus on their needs.
The bottom line is you want to make sure your children know that your divorce has nothing to do with them and has not changed your love for them at all.