As a parent just beginning to go through the process of divorce, you likely wonder one thing: how do you tell your children? Despite your desires to do no harm to them, you know that you cannot simply leave them in the dark.
To that end, you may wonder if there are any ways of breaking the news that do as little damage as possible. Is there a way to broach divorce without hurting your child?
Talk about it sooner rather than later
Psychology Today looks into some of the best ways to broach a discussion about divorce with your children. First and foremost, they highlight the importance of telling your child sooner rather than later. Do not give them “more time to enjoy their childhood”. Give them the time they need to cope with and process the fact that their life is about to change forever.
Second, understand that there is no way to avoid harming your child when breaking news of divorce. After all, it is the end of one of the only things they have know their entire life. This is enough to scare and upset anyone at any age, and your child is no different.
Do not lie to make things easier to swallow
Do not lie to them in an attempt to soften the blow, though. Children are perceptive and will likely understand that something is off. If they later discover that you lied, which they surely will, they may feel more hurt and betrayed than if you had simply told the truth from the start.
At the same time, do not overshare. Your children are still your children and should not know every aspect of the divorce. Keep some things private and know where to draw your lines.