When you decide to divorce, it is crucial to inform your child, too. Needless to say, a decision like divorce affects all members of your family. Any child old enough to speak is also old enough to understand that big changes are on the way.
As such, it is also crucial to understand how to break the news. Every child reacts in a different way, but some advice holds true for most anyway.
Prepare for the unexpected
Psychology Today looks into ways to tell your child about your divorce. The subject is a tricky one and it is hard to guess how a child will react. You can make some assumptions based on their age, personality and maturity level. You can also browse online forums and discuss the matter with other parents who have gone through the same thing. Just know that no matter how well you prepare, surprises can and do still happen.
Tell them soon
With that in mind, it is still important to tell them sooner rather than later. This gives them the maximum amount of time to react to the situation and process their emotions. If you wait to tell them, they may suffer. Many big concerns about divorce stem from fears of change and the unknown. If you give them no processing time, these fears do not abate.
Finally, prepare your “script” in advance. Work with your co-parent. Know what you want to say and what you will leave out. Prepare yourself for the questions your child will most likely ask. If you go into the conversation with an idea of what will happen, you can handle it in a smoother and more reassuring manner.