As parents going through a divorce, it is easy to feel like you could make the wrong decision at any turn. This can make it hard to make the tough calls, like deciding when and how you want to even inform your child of the encroaching divorce in the first place.
But this is an important part of the divorce process, and it is crucial how you convey this news to your child. So how do you do it in the best way possible?
Reassuring your child
Psychology Today discusses the importance of broaching the topic of divorce with your children. First, you should always start by reassuring your child that they do not hold blame or responsibility for your divorce. This may seem obvious to you. However, children often have a narrow scope of the world and will turn to self-blame when they cannot otherwise explain why a divorce is happening.
You may need to reassure them multiple times throughout the divorce, too. Stay attentive and work quickly to dispel any concerns they might have about their role in your split.
Make a plan and stay flexible
Next, prepare what you want to say in advance, but also prepare to make last-minute changes and stay flexible. Your child will have plenty of questions and may not react in the way that you predict they will, which can potentially derail anything you set up in advance.
Communicate well with your co-parent, too. You should go into this knowing what you want to say and what information you will keep to yourselves. Stay flexible, be honest, but do not overstep each other’s boundaries.