Telling Your Kids About Divorce

One thing that we get asked a lot is, “How do I tell my kids? What’s the best way to do it? When do I tell my kids?” We’re going to spend a little bit of time talking about what we’ve found, and what we’ve studied -and what we’ve learned through our studies, is the best way to kind of approach letting the children know that this is happening, and we’re transitioning from one household to two. So first we need to talk about what you’re going to say. Children will fear that that love between you and them is going to stop, because it did between you and the other parent. That’s really the basis of the child’s fear when it comes to separation and custody issues. So the best thing to do is to really stress to the child that, “We both love you unconditionally. We are always going to love you.” Also stress that this decision to separate and move into different households has nothing to do with the children. You want to reassure them that you’re still going to have a strong bond, that you still love them, that you’re still going to be involved in their lives. You’re still going to go to their soccer games, and school plays, that sort of thing. So really just stressing that the love between you and the child is still there, and that they’re– And that they are definitely not the reason for you moving into a separate household.

The best way to do this is to do it together. Present a united front to the children, and to do it together. This can be difficult because a lot of parents want to blame the other parent, or they want the children to know to some degree what’s been going on. But that is not, that’s not the best transition for your children. If you can kind of approach them together, and kind of show this united front and explain– Explain from both of you that there’s still love between you and the child, that it’s never going to break, the child is the most important. That’s the best way to break the news to the children. We do have some more resources on our website that talk about this, and there are lots of books out there that we can point you in that direction as well. But just know kind of at a minimum it’s best to do it together, and it’s best to reiterate to the child over and over again that you still love them, and that this decision isn’t about them.

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