Arizona parents like you want to look out for your children and make decisions in their best interest. If you are seeking a divorce from your spouse, the other parent of your children, you likely worry about how to share the news.
To facilitate healthy conversations about your divorce, you should consider the ages and developmental stages of your children.
The initial conversation
Talking with your children about your divorce is not a single event. The first sit-down you have with your children is the biggest hurdle to get over. Gathering everyone, including the other parent, will show that your family is still united. It will reinforce to your children that they have two committed guardians that care, even if your marriage is over.
Make sure to have answers prepared for questions your children may ask like where they will live and where each parent plans to stay.
After the children know the basics about your divorce and the changing family dynamics, you should still expect to have subsequent discussions with them. At this point, you can discuss things one-on-one with each child and relay the information in an age-appropriate manner.
For older children, you should keep an open dialogue and encourage them to be vocal about their fears and feelings. Your younger children might need a lot more explanation. If they need a lot of repetition to understand, just focus on the immediate facts of how your family is changing.
Breaking the news to your children sooner rather than later gives them more time to process and cope with their parents’ divorce.