When you and your children were younger, you probably had some anxiety about having the birds and bees talk with your kids. Now that you are older and have decided to end your marriage, you may feel that same sense of trepidation. After all, your adult children only know you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse spouse as their married parents.
To facilitate an effective conversation, you should have a plan. Here are four tips that may help you discuss your divorce with your grown children.
1. Ask your husband or wife to participate
Parental divorce can be difficult to process both emotionally and mentally. If you and your spouse present a united front, your adult children may have an easier time accepting the end of your marriage.
Accordingly, consider asking your husband or wife to help you inform your children about your divorce. Also, tell the kids they do not have to choose sides.
2. Address immediate concerns
Before having the conversation, think about how you intend to respond to your children’s immediate concerns. They may worry about upcoming holidays, trips or other planned events. Having a strategy for getting the family through the next few months may help.
3. Anticipate all possible reactions
Your children may react to your divorce in many ways. Before telling them about it, play through different reactions in your mind. Then, think about how you intend to react to happiness, sadness, anger or even hysteria.
4. Confirm your personal wellbeing
Just as you want your kids to be ok, your children want you and your spouse to be happy and healthy. Therefore, throughout your conversation, continue to confirm your personal wellbeing.
Telling the children divorce is the right decision for both you and your spouse may also help them process their thoughts about the matter.