Going into a divorce is often a difficult choice to make, and it might have taken you and your co-parent a long time to come to that conclusion. But how long after you reach it should you alert your child to it?
While some experts have conflicting information, they share their opinions on a few key points.
Stay flexible but have a plan
Psychology Today looks into ways you can break news of divorce to your child. First, stay flexible. You will want to go into the conversation with a plan, but know that the plan may need to deviate at a moment’s notice based on how well your child seems to take or understand the news issued.
Decide in advance what you want to discuss and what you want to keep off the table. You should remain open with your child, but maintain the border between parent and child. Do not divulge information that would be inappropriate for children to know, such as the details of the reasons behind your divorce.
Reassure your child
However, reassure your child that they are not the reason for your divorce. Many children turn to self-blame in the absence of another suitable target, so you want to dispel any hesitation or feelings of guilt they may have as soon as possible.
Finally, tell them as soon as possible. If you wait to tell them, you simply rob them of time they could have used to process the information and better prepare for their life after the split. By hitting these goals, you will generally have a smoother discussion about divorce.