How do you tell your children about your divorce?

Maybe you struggled to tell your current spouse you want a divorce, but you cleared the hurdle, anyway. Now, you two must tell your shared children about dissolving your marriage.

Psychology Today offers tips for telling kids about divorce. Know what to say and how to say it.

Have the conversation together

If possible, you and your soon-to-be former spouse should tell your shared children about your divorce together. No matter how you may feel about your spouse right now, your kids deserve to know you and the other parent share a commitment to take care of them and remain in their lives. Depending on their ages, it may make sense to only share basic details about your divorce with your younger children before having a more in-depth conversation with your older children.

Have a plan

No matter your kids’ ages, work with the other parent to develop a plan for what you want to say. For instance, when should you tell them? It could help to have the conversation during family time or on the weekend. Try not to have the discussion right before bedtime or school.

Do not cast blame

No matter when you tell your kids about your divorce, try not to cast blame on yourself or your current partner. Making one parent look like the “villain” could make your kids think they must take sides, which does not help their mental health. Instead, try to use the word “we” as much as possible.

How you deliver the news of your divorce to your kids may affect them for the rest of their lives. By choosing your words carefully, you could help ease them through this transition.