If you and your spouse can see that a divorce is on the horizon, you need to have that conversation with your children. It’s probably best not to do this until you are 100% certain that you are going to end your relationship. But once you are sure, the children do deserve to know.
That said, parents are often concerned about this conversation and the impact that it is going to have on their children. Will this impact how they deal with the divorce? Here are a few tips that can help things go smoothly:
1. Consider your schedule
Be very intentional about picking a time to have this conversation. It’s important to think about your schedule so that you don’t have anything coming up that you have to rush off and do. When you start this conversation, you need to have enough free time to see it through to the end.
2. Gather the whole family
Next, have this conversation as a family discussion. If you have multiple children, they should all be there to hear the news at once. Plus, you and your spouse should be together to give it to them, if possible, presenting a united front.
3. Ask them about their own questions
Finally, you may start the conversation by telling the children what is happening and giving them a bit of information about the timeframe or the reasons. But be sure that you also ask the children if they have any questions or concerns, or if there’s anything they want to know. Children often bring up topics that adults simply haven’t thought of, and it’s important to answer these questions and give the children more assurance.
Once you’ve had the talk about the divorce with your family, it may be time to get the process underway. Be sure you know what legal steps you need to take.