Telling Your Children

There is no right way to tell your children that their parents (or step-parents) are getting a divorce.  You know your child best.  In addition to the recommended books on this site, you can also search the internet for useful articles.  Here are some helpful hints:

  • By all means tell them about the divorce.  Keeping them in the dark, while an easy way out, is harmful in the long run.  Children often know more than you think they do.
  • Agree on the outlines of the parenting plan prior to telling the children.  The children will be facing enough uncertainty going forward, so give them an assurance of some stability (for them).
    • Let them know what their day-to-day lives will look like.
  • Outline the reasons for the divorce in age-appropriate language.
  • Let them know the reasons for the divorce and that it was a last resort.
  • Tell the children directly that the divorce is not their fault and there is nothing they can do to prevent it.
  • Do not argue in front of the kids, or express anger or blame.
  • Make sure they understand that they are not getting divorced from their mother and father.
  • Acknowledge their feelings.

Children strive most for stability.  Try to provide as much stability as you both can.