As parents about to divorce, you need to find the right way to tell your children. Even if you and your spouse cannot sit down together for the initial chat with your kids, you need to communicate with each other in advance to avoid confusing your kids with conflicting messaging.
Exactly how you tell the children comes down to many factors. Each parent is different, and so is each child, so no one way will suit everyone.
Divorce is not a one-off conversation
It is normal to feel nervous about making such a big announcement. Yet, if you think back over the other big announcements you had to make in life, you may realize that people usually receive unsettling news better than you expect. The same will probably be true when telling your children your marriage is over. They likely know other kids whose parents are divorced and will probably realize things between you and their other parent were not going well.
Telling your children about your impending divorce is just the start of the conversation, not the end, however. They will have many questions you need to answer, some immediately, some in the weeks, months and years that follow.
Honesty is key to helping your children through the process. You do not need to go into intimate details about what went wrong with your marriage, but you should not lie to your kids either. They need to know they can trust you. This is particularly true if you’re unsure about your future plans.
Divorce will be hard, and things will change in their life, so do not try to pretend everything will be normal. What your kids need more than anything is to know that you and their other parent still love them and that they are in no way responsible for your divorce. You can fill in the rest of the details, such as how custody will work, as you proceed.