As a parent, telling your child is one of the hardest parts of divorce. Every child reacts to big news in a different way. It is hard or even impossible to get a good grasp on how yours might take it.
But you understandably want to make the process as easy as possible. To do so, you want to understand the best ways to handle the topic and the best times to do it.
Consider your child individually
Psychology Today offers insight into how to break news of divorce to your child. First, take your child’s personality and maturity level into consideration. All kids react differently, but their age and maturity dictate a lot about the way their reactions may lean. It helps to garner information from parents who went through the same thing and tweak their advice to suit your unique situation.
Next, work together with your co-parent. It is crucial now to get on the same page. You do not want your child hearing multiple versions of the same story. You also do not want them to hear information they are not ready for. While they deserve to know some things, they are not entitled to know all of the nitty gritty details. Moreover, they should not be privy to everything.
Do not wait
Finally, work quickly. Tell them sooner rather than later. The more time they have, the more they can work out the distressing emotions that surely follow such news. By giving them less time to react, they cannot fully explore these emotions, which may harm them. Telling them early can also help disband their fear of uncertainty and the unknown.