Protecting What You Value Most
Is there a right way to tell your child about divorce?
When going through a divorce, the beginning stages often feel the toughest. This is particularly true for parents like you. After all, you need to figure out how to tell your child about what is happening.
Is there a right way to talk about divorce? Is there anything you can do to make the discussion run more smoothly? Fortunately, the answer is yes.
Do it together
Psychology Today discusses how to tell your child about divorce. First, they emphasize cooperation above all. Plan your talks out together. Present them together. Let your child know that you and your co-parent are still a unified front. This provides them with reassurance and stability. It also lets them know that they cannot use any division between you to get their way. Many children of divorcees take advantage of rifts in a relationship to guilt or bribe one parent into giving them what the other will not. This nips that possibility in the bud.
Plan things out
Next, know what you will say in advance. Try to predict the kind of questions you will get. Plan out your answers in advance. Draw your boundaries, too. You both likely have lines you do not want crossed. Maintain them throughout the conversation. Do not undermine each other, or use sore spots to get a petty leg up.
Finally, understand there is no way to fully prepare for this conversation. Children will react in different ways depending on their age, maturity level and unique personality. You can get advice from outside sources and make educated guesses based on what you know of your child. But prepare for surprises and understand it will always take time for big, shocking news to process.