How to Tell Your Kids You’re Getting Divorced

You’ve built a family with a spouse you no longer want to stay married to. It’s a problem a lot of divorcees face. If the marriage is short, there are no kids involved and there are few assets, it’s easier to get a divorce.

But breaking the news to a child that mommy and daddy will no longer live together can be very difficult for even the strongest of parents.

Your home will never be the same.

“Contrary to what some might think, not all individuals going through divorce are out to get revenge or hurt their ex-spouse. Many times, divorcing individuals want to settle their differences and reach a fair and equitable divorce settlement as quickly as possible and with as little stress on the family as possible,” writes Erlich Law Office.

Putting as little stress as possible on your family is what you should want to do.

This means starting to talk to your child, explaining in the most loving and caring way, that you and your spouse are getting divorced.

Sit Down with Your Child as a Team suggests that parents present a united front. What this means is that both parents sit down with their children as a team. Parents need to set aside their own differences and explain how divorce is a joint agreement.

Even if mom wants a divorce and dad doesn’t, it’s important to present the divorce as a decision you’re both making.

Pointing fingers during the talks will not do any good for your child. It’s best to leave the bitterness and resentment out of the room at this time. If parents start placing blame, this will do more harm than good for the children.

Plan Everything You’ll Say

You want to have the discussion with the entire family, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t pull younger children or specific people aside to discuss the divorce. Perhaps you know that your son will be devastated to hear the news. Well, this is a good time to pull him aside and talk to him about the divorce in detail.

Divorce isn’t a topic where improvising is acceptable.

You need to have a plan going into your divorce. The plan is to:

  • Express that the divorce is not the kids’ fault
  • Explain that mommy and daddy still love the kids
  • Key messages that your kids want to hear

If you had plans to go to Johnny’s big tournament next year, explain that both mommy and daddy will be there to support him.

Wait and Answer Any Questions Your Kids Have

Don’t be upset if your kids lash out or get angry about the divorce. This is a stressful time for everyone involved, and you’ll want to have the right response to your child’s reactions. Kids will often lighten the mood.

Kids often come out with silly questions that will make everyone laugh, such as “who will cook dinner now?”

Use these moments to ease your kids’ fears and explain that while you’re getting divorced, both of you still love and care for your children.