Keep your children from feeling they have to choose!
How parents tell their children about the divorce sets the stage for how the parents will co-parent in the future and has a significant impact on whether the children thrive—no matter what you do legally, both of you will continue to be parents. A great book to help you with this is “Mom’s House, Dad’s House” by Isolina Ricci, Ph.D.
Telling your children is not easy, but there are some things that you can do to help them with the transition.
Have a plan
Talk with your spouse and prepare to tell your children so you are both on the same page. If you cannot talk with your spouse alone, work with a mediator or a therapist to help the two of you plan a dialogue so you can get on the same page and be prepared. Remember, you and your spouse are the adults!
Tell the children together
This gives the children confidence and lets them know mom and dad are both going to be there for them and they do not need to feel divided.
Keep children out of adult issues
Know what you will say, keep blame out of it and stay calm. Your children need to know you are both still going to be there for them, will continue to love them and they do not need to choose who is the “good” parent and who is the “bad” parent, it is OK to keep loving both parents.
Provide a plan
Let them know where everyone is going to live and when they will be with each of you.
Children will have questions. Be open and provide honest clear answers, but keep the accusations and adult issues out of it.
Let them know you both love them and they are not in any way the cause of the divorce.