Dealing with divorce is hard enough for adults. It is even harder when you are parents who have to deal with breaking the news to your child while sparing them from as much emotional shock and turmoil as possible.
Of course, how you break the news depends on several factors. But there are some universal ways to ease the stress they may feel due to this information.
How should you tackle divorce discussions?
Psychology Today offers several tips for discussing divorce with your child. First, you always need to tailor your discussions to your children. You can get all of the advice from as many experts as possible, and you still will not receive a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all solution. You need to change how you tackle certain subjects based on your child’s age, maturity level, temperament and unique situation.
Next, know what information to share and what to keep secret. You do not have to lie about the divorce and pretend it is anything other than what it is: dissolution of marriage and an end to the current domestic life your child knows. However, they do not need the nitty-gritty details of why the divorce happened or how you and your co-parent feel about each other.
Finally, work together with your co-parent wherever possible. You do not want to undermine each other or present a disjointed front to your child. This will leave them feeling uncertain, unsteady and without any reassurance that things will be alright. Stick together, plan things out together, work together and avoid confronting each other in front of your child. This way, they will feel stable and like they can still rely on you both, even now.