After you and your ex-spouse decide to divorce, the next most complicated step is likely breaking the news to your children.
Talking about divorce with young children can be confusing, but knowing how much they can handle helps make the transition easier and smoother.
Be honest and direct
According to Psychology Today, you should never lie to your children about what is going on. Instead, explain the divorce in honest but child-appropriate ways, and make sure to tell them that you still love them. Do not add in too much detail about what you or your ex-spouse went through in order to make this decision.
Some children may blame themselves for their parents’ divorce if they feel uncertain why it is happening. To prevent this, reassure them this decision did not result from anything they said or did.
Encourage further discussion
Once they understand that a divorce is imminent, let your children know that it is ok to feel conflicting emotions. Find ways of healthy expression and tell them that it is normal and natural to ask questions about what will happen next. Listen to each concern or idea your children have, and help them find an outlet for their anger or anxiety.
Show you are still present
Children may worry about whether or not their parents are going to be there for them since divorce is a major lifestyle change. Spend extra time with your children and show them that you still will pay the same amount of attention to them as before. Schedule time out together or fun days in the house, and keep your boundaries and rules the same throughout the divorce.