It is not easy telling anyone that you are getting a divorce, let alone trying to explain the situation to your children. This is probably the most important, emotional conversation you have had with them so you may feel that the stakes are very high.
However, there are ways for you to plan and navigate this reveal in order to make it less of a shock.
1. Formulate a plan.
You will feel much more comfortable and prepared for this difficult conversation with a solid plan. The timing of what you want to say is crucial. Wait for a moment when your children are not tired, sad or overwhelmed. Avoid holidays, birthdays and other happy times of the year.
You can write out and rehearse what you are going to say so you can remain calm when the moment comes.
2. Work with the other parent.
No matter who filed for divorce or whose fault it is, you and your soon to be ex-spouse carry the burden together. Forming your game plan together will keep you both on the same page and show your children that although the family dynamics will change, they still have two capable parents.
3. Gather all your children together.
Have this conversation with all your children, no matter their ages. The entire family together will allow your children to have each other as a support system. Dividing and conquering the conversation will only force your children to face the pain alone.
4. Talk through the outcome of the divorce.
Divorce is stressful to children because they no longer know what the future holds for them. Have answers prepared for where they will live, if they will get to see both parents, who is leaving the house and anything else you think they may ask.
Preparing an honest conversation about your divorce will provide a sense of security for your family, even in uncertain times.