How do you tell your child about the divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Child Custody

As a parent, the last thing you want is to cause your child unnecessary stress. Of course, breaking the news of divorce will result in this no matter how hard you try to avoid it, but there are ways that you can mitigate the stress they feel.

It is a very unique and individualistic process, though. Before you go into this major conversation, be sure to prepare for all potential outcomes.

Why give them more time?

According to Psychology Today, you should tell your child about the divorce sooner rather than later. This is one thing that most experts can agree on. Why tell them early? Simply put, it gives them more time to work through their emotions and cope with the upcoming changes. The less time they have, the more they may feel like you have thrown them into the deep end. This could foster feelings of panic, anxiety, worry and even resentment.

Tailor your talk

Next, take all of the advice you got and remember that you need to tailor it to your child. No two children are exactly the same, which means they will not react to news of divorce the same way, either. Even if one method of conversation worked for your friend’s kid, that might not go over well with yours. Tweak your approach based on your child’s personality, maturity level and so on.

Finally, always assure your child that you love them and that the divorce is not their fault. Many children will foist the blame for the split onto themselves and feel self-hatred and disdain because of it. You want to quash those feelings immediately in order to prevent further damage from happening.