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Divorce: 3 tips for breaking the news to your children gently

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2022 | Blog, Divorce

Children are innocent bystanders who often suffer as a result of the breakdown of their parents’ marriage and the subsequent dissolution of the family as they know it. However, divorce does not have to be a traumatizing experience for them.

While there may be some effect regardless of efforts to minimize any impact, taking steps to handle breaking the news of the divorce to and the proceedings themselves gently around your offspring may help them accept it easier.

1. Develop an agreed-upon plan

Work with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to come up with a strategy for telling your children. Do not simply walk up to them on the sofa and blurt out the news. Instead, both you and the other parent need to rehearse what to say with each other before approaching the kids together.

2. Take a zero blame approach

Be as neutral as possible. Do not blame each other and especially do not blame the children. Assigning guilt may result in excess anger and division and make your kids feel bad. For instance, research shows that offspring who witness fighting between parents during the divorce process are at greater risk of developing a fear of abandonment. Explain the reason behind the divorce in a general, non-blaming, non-specific, unified manner.

3. Reassure your children

While certain aspects of their lives may change, and you need to discuss these at some point, for now, stress the ones that will remain the same, without promising things you are unsure of. It is also vital to assert the continuity of you and your soon-to-be-ex partner’s love for your kids and offer a sense of security.

Informing your children of a divorce may be difficult. By making an effort to do it gently, you may aid your kids greatly with adjusting to the news.