Breaking the news of your divorce may feel like the most daunting task, especially when it comes to thinking about how you will tell your children. However, the fact that you worry about the situation shows that you are a thoughtful, caring parent who wants to do right by your children.
By planning ahead and coordinating with the other parent, if possible, you can present the information to your children without overwhelming them.
Babies and toddlers
The littlest children might express their distress about divorce through whininess, irritability, clinginess or anxiety. Their dependence on you and your spouse as caregivers makes the divorce especially difficult to explain. Give simple explanations to your toddler’s questions and provide consistent nurturing.
6 to 11 year olds
School-aged children reveal their true feelings through anger, sadness, anxiety, fear or sadness. Children in this age group might believe that they are the root cause of the divorce or that they can single-handedly bring you back together with your ex. Keeping your children used to a stable routine or reading them age-appropriate books about divorce.
Over 12 year olds
If your children are in this age group, be on the lookout for moodiness and anger. Remember what your children were like before your divorce and compare their behavior to how they are now. Prioritize open lines of communication with them as teens and preteens may act like they do not want to talk.
Overall, if you tailor your conversations to your children’s age group, you will likely have more success talking to them about your divorce.