Divorce is a difficult time in your life, and it creates upheaval in the family no matter how amicable it is. Of course, your child will also end up negatively impacted by the split, which is why many parents often hesitate to tell them the news.
Experts say this does more harm than good, though. They believe you should tell your child as soon as possible and break the news in the most gentle way you can. But what does “gentle” mean in such a context?
Give them time to process
Psychology Today examines ways that you can tell your child about the divorce in your future. As mentioned, experts generally agree that you should break the news as quickly as possible despite initial impulses to delay the inevitable. While you may think you are helping by giving your child “more time” to enjoy their life pre-divorce, you actually rob them of the valuable time they need to process the upcoming changes.
Give your child this time, let them ask the questions on their mind, and give them the space they need to come to terms with the encroaching changes in their lives. Generally, if they have this buffer, they will have an easier time accepting the divorce because a lot of the fear factor will dissipate.
Modify your advice
Next, take any advice you get and tailor it for your child specifically. Advice for divorce is not one-size-fits-all. You must try from angles you think will work best with your child.
Above all else, make sure to continuously reassure your child through the process. Let them know you will both love and support them no matter what, and that the divorce has nothing to do with them. This reassurance can help them accept their new reality with more ease.