If you’re at the point where you need to tell your children about your divorce, keep these ideas in mind during your first few conversations with the kids:
  1. Have both parents tell the child(ren) about the divorce together
  2. All children need to be told about the divorce at the same time whenever possible
  3. It’s best to present divorce as a serious decision made after considerable thought, but with sadness, reluctance and sorrow for the pain it causes the child
  4. Offer clear, honest explanations about the divorce. Avoid elaborate details of your marital problems (ie. Affairs, sexual problems)
  5. Reassure your child that the divorce does not weaken the bond between the parent and the child
  6. Give your child clear sense of an established place in each parent’s home (ie. their own room, place for toys, toiletries)
  7. Know before you talk with the children what will happen next. Children need concrete details-where will I live, when will I see each parent, will I go to the same school. Predictability leads to stability in a child’s life
  8. Focus on what will happen to each child, describe basic changes (ie. living arrangements, time with the other parent)
  9. Extend an invitation to your child to make suggestions that will be considered
  10. Assure your child he/she will be told of all major developments and changes
  11. Stress that your child is not responsible for the divorce, but that this is an issue between the adults
  12. Give your child permission to love both parents
  13. Give your child a time frame of the divorce and expected changes.