Deciding to go through with a divorce can often feel complex. You might feel relieved that you have finally taken a step in a direction you think is better. But you may also struggle with feelings of guilt tied to your child. After all, this decision will permanently alter their life, too.
To do as little damage as possible, you might wonder how you can tackle this subject. Is there any “best” way to approach a divorce conversation? Unfortunately, the answer is no. But there are things you can do to make it go more smoothly.
Get it done right away
Psychology Today discusses how to approach the topic of divorce with your child. First, do not put it off. This is often many parent’s first response to the surety of a traumatic conversation. After all, you want to protect your child from every bad thing they may come across.
Unfortunately, trying to protect them from this could only do more harm than good in the end. Your child needs time and space to process the oncoming changes in their life. If you launch these changes at them without giving them any time to process, they may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Work with your co-parent
Make sure you rehearse things together with your co-parent, too. Never start a conversation after you fought. Even if you cannot get along perfectly, you do not want to fight in front of your child or give off the impression that you two will never cooperate again. This creates a scary, unstable atmosphere that will make the news harder to handle.
Finally, decide what topics you will broach and what questions you will answer, along with how you will answer them. This allows you to control the flow of information. It also assures both of you can get across the most important message: that you will always love and support your child no matter what.