According to research over the last five years, more than 75% of divorcing parents discuss this change in the family for less than 10 minutes – total.
This post is meant to help you be one of the families in the other 25%. Children need to talk about divorce, and they need to hear about it from you, even if they say they don’t want to do either.
First, tell your children about the divorce approximately two to three weeks before you plan to separate. Have a plan in place as best you can so that you’re equipped to answer any questions or issues that might arise.
- Most importantly, talk to your children together as a team.If somebody is at work or otherwise unavailable to attend the meeting, hold off on the conversation. You need to convey unified concern and caring, so do this when you are unlikely to lose your temper or become angry at each other.
- Talk in a quiet space when you don’t need to do anything afterward. Aim for the start of a weekend, if possible, so that you’ll be available to talk or be close in the days immediately following the conversation.
- Tell your children’s teachers the day before you plan to tell your kids.Their teachers must be prepared for any acting up or potential upset that might occur. Ask the teachers to be discreet and sensitive to the information and to understand the situation but not bring it up to the children unless they mention it first.
Rather than tossing this life-altering news out over the dinner table or as you’re driving to soccer practice, take the time to plan the right moment for the conversation. Did your child just fail his math test? Try to hold off on a divorce conversation, as it might result in even greater feelings of failure. Ultimately, you and your partner know your children best, and while you should prepare for any number of reactions, the above tips can help set the stage for the best possible outcome in this present situation.