You have likely received conflicting information about when and how to break news of the upcoming divorce to your child. Everyone has an opinion and their own notion of what might suit a child best.
But what is the reality of the situation? Does any one particular method work better than the rest, or is it all up to how an individual reacts?
Focus on timing
Psychology Today discusses the importance of speaking to your child about divorce. The one thing they stress is the timing: you want to tell your child as soon as possible. Many parents will default to waiting, but this can actually do more harm than good. It leaves your child with less time to process the reality of their situation and can leave them feeling unprepared and bitter.
However, much of the rest of the process should happen at a parent’s discretion. Why? Because no two children are the same. What worked best for your neighbors or siblings or best friends might not work for you. Likewise, even expert suggestions may not suit your situation.
Make decisions based on what you know
You need to examine your unique situation first, as well as your child as a person. Do they have a high level of maturity and understanding, or is it lower? How do they react to unpleasant situations? How much support will they need in the aftermath, and what sort of support do they react positively to?
You must answer these questions when devising your plan. This is the best way to ensure that you break the news in a way your child can break down and understand as well as possible.