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How to break the news of divorce to your children

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Family Law

According to the World Population Review, Illinois sees roughly 6.2 divorces per 1,000 residents each year. Many of those divorces involve children whose parents must tell them about the divorce.

The experience of telling your children about an impending divorce is undoubtedly one of the hardest conversations a parent can face. The key to making this difficult conversation as bearable as possible lies in how you approach the topic. Understanding that this is an emotionally charged situation for everyone involved will guide you in choosing the right words and timing.

Plan your approach

Start by planning your approach. This includes deciding on the right time and place to break the news. Choose a calm, familiar environment where your children feel safe and comfortable. As for timing, make sure you have enough time to fully explain the situation and answer any questions your children might have.

Ensure that both parents are present during this conversation. This demonstrates unity and shows the children that despite the divorce, both parents still care for them equally. Decide on what to say ahead of time. Stick to age-appropriate language and try to explain the situation in simple terms.

Focus on love and reassurance

Your children need to hear that both parents will continue to love them and be there for them. Emphasize that the decision to divorce is between the parents and is in no way the children’s fault. Children often blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, so it is important to reassure them that they are not the cause of the split.

Be prepared for different reactions

Each child will respond differently to the news of a divorce. Some may react with sadness, others with anger, while some may not show any reaction at all. Be prepared for these different reactions and be patient with your children as they process the news. Let them know it is okay to feel the way they do and that you are there to support them. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns openly. The more they feel they can communicate their feelings, the easier it will be for them to adjust to the changes.

With the right approach, you can ensure that your children feel loved and supported, despite the changes that are about to take place in your family dynamic. Remember, your children’s well-being is paramount. Guiding them through this process with love and patience is the best way to ensure they adjust well to the new family dynamic.