How do you tell your kid about divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2021 | Divorce

When going through a divorce, it is often hard to decide when to take certain steps. This is especially true when you also have a child to consider. One of your biggest questions at the start likely involves breaking the news in the first place.

When should you do it? Is there a right time? Is there a right way? Can you mitigate any of the potential damage at all?

Understand some trauma will occur

Psychology Today lists potential ways to break news of divorce. First, they note that this news will likely hold some form of trauma regardless of how you break it. After all, you are completely changing a child’s way of life. Fortunately, many children adapt to changes with greater ease than adults. But give them some slack and know they will need time to process.

Speaking of time, you want to give them as much as possible. Many parents have a first inclination to give them more time as the child of a “normal” family, but this is not what they need. They need time to adjust to the concept and process it. You can help them by dropping the news early.

Cooperation is key

To aid you with that, you and your co-parent should work together. You need to be on the same page to deliver news to your child in a coherent and neutral way. Never have individual discussions without alerting your co-parent. Do not have a discussion directly after an argument. Above all, reassure your child that you and your co-parent will continue working together to support and love them in the future, no matter what happens.