How to Tell Your Kids You're Getting a Divorce

Опубликовал Admin
29-09-2016, 06:55
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Divorce is difficult for any child of any age to deal with. There are many ways to go about telling your children you're getting a divorce, but not all of them are effective


  1. It is best to tell the children when both parents are present. (Some issues such a domestic violence will prevent both parents from being present.) Have a plan before you start: Agree in advance upon what you will each say and how you will each respond to questions.
  2. Answer their questions as fully and candidly as possible without straying from your plan.
  3. Keep calm no matter how they react. They'll likely be angry and upset, so try not to react similarly.
  4. If they leave the room after yelling or crying, give them a few minutes for a breather then BOTH parents should go to the room they're in and talk to them.
  5. Comfort your child, do not encourage them to comfort you. Your emotions should remain as neutral as possible. Take a brief break if you become emotional and resume when you can focus your attention on your child.
  6. Explain to them why you're getting divorced. Don't go into too much detail or start placing blame on the other parent.
  7. Tell them as much as you know about how their lives will change (where they will live, where they will go to school, where the dog will be, etc.).
  8. Talk to them about plans on how they'll see the parent that won't be living with them full-time, anymore.
  9. Offer to enlist the help of a counselor, or remind them that there are other adults (specifically) to whom they can turn for comfort and advice.
  10. Both parents should remind the children that you love them even though you're getting a divorce.
  11. Let them know that the reason for the divorce has nothing to do with them. Reinforce the fact that they are not the problem as you talk.
  12. Tell your children's teachers, counselors, baby-sitters and other caregivers, the parents of their close friends, and any other adults they see regularly about your divorce plans. Your heads-up will help them to understand that any significant changes in your children's behavior may be traced to your divorce. Ask these adults to keep you informed of any such changes.
  13. Tell them "Even if we are not all together in the same house, most the time we will still be together"
  14. Keep repeating that you love them and nothing that happens between Mom and Dad will change that.
  15. Encourage them to express their thoughts by gently saying things like, "It's okay to cry, but you must talk to us about how you are feeling inside - what you are thinking about."
  16. Ask the children about how they feel about Mom and Dad getting separated or divorced before you get divorced.
  17. Encourage them not to do anything rash in their lives, for example like "running away."
  18. Avoid using phrases that include the words "fault" or "blame". Tell them that it was a mutual decision made by the adults. If you've been arguing a lot, acknowledge that and explain that the two of you are trying to determine what is best for the family.
  19. Do not turn your child into a confidant, do not discuss adult issues with them. Do not tell them they have to be the man or woman of the house now; this increases the amount of stress on them. They are kids, let them stay kids.
  20. Do not use the kids as an informant or spy on the other parent. Do not try to win the child's affection, or be the good parent and make your ex-spouse the bad parent.
  21. Don't promise things you can't deliver. If you don't know the facts yet on living situations, etc. tell the that you are still working that out and deciding what is best, but assure them with what you do know. Assure them that they will still see both parents, go to the same school, etc., if you know this will be the case.


  • Remain calm. Do not yell back. Let them speak.
  • Tell them that both parents will be there for them
  • Before telling the child(ren) about the divorce, discuss together how both parents will have time with the child(ren) after the divorce.
  • Make sure they don't get too overwhelmed because that could lead to bigger problems.
  • Reassure them. Show them how to make the best of a bad situation.
  • Tell them there's good and bad in everything, but don't portray the divorce as a good thing or something that's worth it.


  • Yelling will not improve a child's understanding of your decision to divorce.
  • If your child is under 8 and won't completely understand, tell them anyway.
  • Never tell children that the divorce may not be final to avoid giving children false hopes that the parents will reunite.
  • Don't make your child(ren) choose who is going to have custody right away, have them live with each parent for a period of time, so they experience both sides.
  • Always include your child(ren) in the divorce. They have every right to know why you're getting divorced and to have their questions answered.
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