After deciding that a divorce is the right option for you, it may feel like a weight off your shoulders. At the same time, new hurdles and burdens will also appear. For example, you now have to tackle telling your child about the divorce.
Is there a right way to do this? Are there any common mistakes to avoid? And just what should you expect from such a conversation in the first place?
Do it sooner rather than later
Psychology Today discusses the difficult task of telling your child about your upcoming divorce. They believe it is best if you tell your child sooner rather than later. You may think you are giving them more time to enjoy a “normal life”. In reality, you are taking away valuable time they could use to process their emotions and the future divorce that looms ahead.
Next, work with your co-parent rather than against them. Have your divorce discussions together, not one on one. Talk things out beforehand. Rehearse if you need to. Decide what questions you will answer and what you will avoid. You can even use a mediator if you need help working out your talk.
Brace yourself for the unknown
Do not expect your child to take the news in any particular way, either. You may be able to ballpark estimate a reaction. But you will never know until you actually have the conversation. Understand that age, maturity level and personality all factor in. The way you present the news can also influence their reaction. But it is a large and somewhat traumatic life change, and it is hard to predict how anyone will react to those.