How to tell your children you are divorcing

Divorce is full of emotional events. From the first time the thought crossed your mind that you want to end your marriage, to the day you contacted a divorce attorney, until the day you receive the final order in your case from the Missouri family court, you will have to deal with various types of emotional tumult.

One of the most tumultuous may be when you tell your child or children of your decision. How you explain to a toddler will be very different from what you tell a teenager. Nevertheless, it is important to be honest. Your children observe you very closely every day and they will know if you are not being honest.

No matter what age, one of the most important elements will be to reassure them that your love remains undiminished. The fact that you and your spouse no longer want to live with each other does not reduce the love you feel for your children.

In many cases, they may already suspect something is amiss. Especially older children will sense that all is not well. They are likely very attuned to your painful silences, or the shouted arguments that quickly end when they enter a room. They may see it coming, but that won’t make it any less painful and they need your reassurance and comfort.

One way to do this is to provide detailed explanations that are age appropriate that describe what their future life will be like after the divorce process is complete. By explaining your parenting plan, you can provide them with something to focus on, even if they may not fully understand how every element will work.

None of this will be easy, but if done well, you can show them that while life may be different, the difference will not be awful and that you will work to help them through the divorce process.

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