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Talking about a huge life change like a divorce with your children may seem intimidating at first. You could worry that saying the wrong thing will hurt and confuse them.

Learning about how to break the news in a respectful and child-friendly way can help you all to move forward.

Stay calm and open

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, bringing unnecessary worry or tension to the talk can make your children feel nervous before it even begins. Instead, focus on being direct and understandable while also showing compassion about how scary this change is.

Do not try to avoid the subject or ramble so that your children do not feel bad about hearing negative news. Be honest about what changes will happen, such as whether they will have to move or they need to change schools.

Reassure them

Verbally stating that they did not influence this divorce and that you still love them can help soothe childrens’ minds. Younger children may not fully understand all the complex issues that went into the choice to divorce, so this will help them know that no matter what, your love for them will not change.

Older children may know about divorce and understand what will generally happen next. Each age range needs a sense of stability to help them feel secure.

Let them ask questions

One way to help your children feel more at ease with this situation is to allow them to ask any questions they think of. This can not only reassure them about what will happen in the future, but it can also bring you both closer and help solidify the bond you have.