Going through a divorce is a traumatic time for every family member, including the children of divorce. Of course, as parents, you want to help ease the transition and make this period of life as easy as possible.
One of the best ways to do this is by figuring out in advance how you want to approach the situation and tell your child about the upcoming divorce. But how should you do that?
Tell your child ASAP
Psychology Today discusses how to break the news of divorce to your child. Generally speaking, experts have different opinions as to which approach might serve your child the best. However, they all generally agree on a few points.
First, you want to tell your child sooner rather than later. Many parents default to waiting, either because they want to give their children more time with a “normal” life or out of fear of their reaction. But this robs them of valuable processing time, and only delays the inevitable.
Discuss your plans
Second, always plan with your co-parent before approaching discussions with your child, and hold these discussions together. You want to hold each other accountable, make sure you stay on the same page, and ensure that the same information gets delivered. This way, your child does not have to worry about picking sides and you do not have to worry about unfair biases.
Ease your child’s concerns
Finally, ensure you tell your child that you love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce. Due to the ego-centric nature of children, many will blame themselves for the bad things in their lives because they do not know who or what else to blame. You should reassure them as often as possible that this is not their fault.