Getting divorced is never an easy task. Not only are you dissolving your marriage, but in the event that you and your spouse have kids together, you’re also going to be disrupting your family’s lives.
But in many situations, it’s actually better for everyone involved if you and your spouse go your separate ways and are no longer in a toxic or unhappy relationship. However, knowing this doesn’t make facing the facts any easier.
So to help you be prepared for the hardest part of getting your divorce, here are three tips for breaking the news about your divorce to your kids.
Get On The Same Page With Your Ex
Before you sit down with your kids and talk about your divorce, you should first sit down with your ex to figure out exactly what you should say to your children and how you plan to answer any questions they might have.
According to Dr. Michelle Rozen, a contributor to the Huffington Post, by taking the time to get on the same page with your ex before you confront your kids with this news, you’ll help show your children that you’ll remain a unified front when it comes to the parenting of your children. Doing this can also help you map out how you will explain what’s happened and what your plans are moving forward.
Try Your Best To Control Your Emotions
Although this is likely a very emotional time for you, it’s important that when you’re telling your kids about your impending divorce, you allow them and their emotions to take center stage.
To help you in doing this, Vikki Stark, a contributor to Psychology Today, recommends that try your best to get your own emotions under control before you talk to your kids about what’s going on. By managing your emotions and trying to get to a point where you can have this conversation without breaking down yourself, you’ll be able to be strong for your kids when they need you and give them permission to feel however they’re feeling about the news you’ve just told them.
Practice The Conversation Beforehand
As you prepare to speak with your children about getting divorced, it can be very helpful to actually go through exactly what you plan to say to them beforehand.
Dr. Megan Fleming, a contributor to Psych Central, by practicing the conversation beforehand—either by yourself, with your partner, or with the help of a trusted friend—you’ll be able to think about how to best phrase things and anticipate potential questions or answers that you should give.
If you’ll soon be speaking with your children about your upcoming divorce from their other parent, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you prepare for this.