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How should I talk to kids about divorce?

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is telling your kids about the decision. Children often have a difficult time coping with the news, and it's important to make them feel loved and comforted when informing them of your split. Parents Magazine recommends the following tips when having this talk with your children. 

Plan out the conversation ahead of time

Before discussing the topic of divorce with your kids, sit down and plan out what you'd like to communicate to them. Focus on how much you and your spouse love your children and how that fact is never going to change. Mention that the problems in your marriage have nothing to do with them, which is a common fear for many children of divorce. You may also want to touch on practical concerns, such as moving homes or custody issues. While it can be daunting for children to be provided so much information at one time, they should be fully informed about the direction their life is taking. 

Make sure your spouse is present

Even if tensions are high between you and your soon-to-be-ex, it's best to provide the news together. Additionally, make sure all of your children are present, even if you have younger kids. The whole family should learn of the news together so there's no confusion or misinformation. After the initial talk, take time for each child separately so they can express themselves honestly. 

Let them ask questions

It's likely that your children will have questions after you break the news. While it's important that you answer their questions honestly, try not to provide too much information when it's not needed. For instance, your kids don't need to know the exact details of why you and your spouse are getting divorced, especially if infidelity played a role. Also, try to use child-friendly language as much as possible. 

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