Making the decision to your divorce can be difficult. If you have children, the thought of telling them about the split may be overwhelming. While it can be a very difficult conversation to have with your children, a bit of planning and commitment to compassion will make it easier on everyone.
Have a plan to tell them. You and your spouse are ending your marriage and so will begin your relationship as co-parents. While you may be battling each other on several fronts make the commitment to show your children peace. Bring the children together as a family, and explain the situation and plan. Make sure they are comfortable and in a safe place and do not have plans for that day. They may have a variety of emotions to deal with and will not want to cancel plans or be forced out of the house.
Accept the emotions and questions as they are presented to you and do not tell your children how they should react. They may cry, yell at you, sit stunned or actually say “this is better since you fight all the time.” Your kids will have many questions and may even seem a bit self-centered. Remember, children want to feel secure about where they are going to be living and when they are going to see you. More than likely they have friends who have divorced parents and see the switching of homes and sharing of holidays. Your kids are going to want to know what the plan is for them.
Reassure your children that it was not their fault and that you still love them. Often times children feel that if they behaved better, did not fight with their siblings, or earned better grades their parents would be happier and staying together. It is critical that they hear from you it is not their fault and that adult reasons are the cause for your split.
During the months while you are getting divorced you have a beautiful opportunity to show your children peace. Yes, there may be many moving parts including moving to two new homes. If you give them a stable environment and always come from a place of love while in their presence they will adjust a little easier to all the changes.