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How do you tell your child about divorce?

Divorce is painful for everyone involved, no matter how you cut it. It will leave a lasting impact on you, your ex-partner and your child as well. Of course, as parents, you want to limit the pain your child faces.

But how can you do that? Is there a right way to tell your child about divorce? Are there some tactics that work better than others?

Tell them sooner rather than later

Psychology Today discusses how to broach the topic of divorce with your kids. First, give them time to process the situation. This means telling them the news sooner rather than later. You are not doing them any favors by giving them more time to “enjoy a normal life”. You are merely putting off the inevitable. Your child has likely picked up on the tension between you and your co-parent, anyway.

Next, work with your co-parent. Plan your discussions together. Never speak over each other or hold conversations just between you and your child. You want to keep things fair for each other. More than that, you want to provide your child with reassurance that they still have a stable foundation to rely on.

Anticipate questions

Try to anticipate what questions your child may ask you and prepare yourself to answer them. Set boundaries ahead of time, too. Know what you will answer and where you will draw the line. After all, your child deserves honesty. This does not mean you need to give them every detail about the split.

The situation is going to be hard for everyone regardless of how you handle it. Just be sure to provide your child with support and love throughout the process and handle matters as well as you can.