A child of three years of age is going to understand the news of your divorce drastically differently than a child of thirteen years of age. In other words, the age of your children will likely determine how you approach the subject of divorce.
This is why you should consider understanding where your children are developmentally before talking about divorce. As you learn about how to talk about divorce with your children, you may need to consider the following:
Talk as a family
It may be important that your children hear the news about your divorce as a family. It may be difficult to have your soon-to-be ex-spouse in on this talk, but it can show your children that you’re both committed to continuing a parental relationship. This can also save you and your spouse the trouble of having your children get frustrated because they heard the news first from the other parent.
Explain what will change
Divorce may be an abstract concept for your children. To help them understand what will happen once the divorce is finalized, you may need to talk about some of the changes they’ll see. Maybe you can talk about where your children are going to live, when they get to see each parent and if they’ll change schools or not.
Let your children ask questions
Again, your talk with our children will drastically change depending on their age. Children who are in their adolescence are more likely going to ask questions. Your children may have lots or no questions, which you may not be entirely prepared for. By being open and honest when answering these questions, you could be helping your children process this news.
If you aren’t prepared to talk to your children, it may be because you haven’t worked out exactly how your divorce will end. By understanding your legal options and having a plan, you may be able to ease yourself and your children into life after divorce.