Deciding to get a divorce is a big step in your life. Choosing how to tell your child is likely going to act as the next hurdle you face. There are plenty of opinions out there on the best way to break the news.
But in the end, you must focus on what is most important to you and your family. Here are three tips you can use when deciding how to tell your child about the upcoming divorce.
Adjust your approach
Psychology Today takes a look at the potential strategies parents can look into when discussing divorce with their kid. First, they suggest tailoring the approach to your child. After all, no advice is one-size-fits-all. You can discuss the topic with friends or family. You can gain insight from others who went through the same thing. You can listen to what experts have to say. Then, you can take this information and decide what your child will react best to. Take their age, maturity and temperament into consideration.
Tell them right away
Next, do not wait to tell them. Parents sometimes hem and haw over this for far too long. You may think you are sparing your child by giving them “more time” before they know, but in reality, you are taking time away. This is crucial time that they could and should use to process the emotional burden that comes with hearing about divorce. The more time you give them to think and process, the better.
Third, work together with your co-parent. The last thing you want is for your child to get conflicting answers and information. They do not need all the details of your divorce, either. Talk to your co-parent before you talk to your child and work out how you will handle the discussion. What will you say? What questions will you answer? Where do you draw the line for information? Once you have this worked out, you can proceed with a much smoother conversation.