When you got married, it may have felt like you completed another common rite of passage in life. According to the Pew Research Center, half of all Americans in 2017 over the age of 18 had a spouse.
You may not have expected that your marriage would eventually end in divorce, and you likely have concerns about how this decision will affect your children now and in the future. There are several things you can do to make telling your children about ending your marriage easier on you and them.
1. Tell all your children at the same time
You may think you should tell your older children about your divorce first and shield your younger children from this news for as long as possible. Instead of using this approach, tell all your children about your plans to divorce at the same time.
2. Consider the setting and circumstances
Choose a time to tell your children about your intent to end your marriage at a time that does not present scheduling conflicts or occur before a major life event. For example, you should refrain from breaking the news about your divorce the night before one of your children’s birthdays.
3. Allow your children to express their emotions
Your children may react negatively or positively to the news of your divorce, and these reactions may not be what you expected. Even if your children’s initial emotions confuse you, allow them space and time to work through these feelings with your support.
4. Present a unified front with your spouse
Even though it may be painful, you should present a unified, mature front with your spouse when telling your children about your plans to divorce. Avoid blaming your spouse for the dissolution of your marriage in front of your children and make it clear to them that they are not the ones responsible for the divorce.