You may be far more worried about how the news of an upcoming divorce impacts your children than in how it impacts your spouse. You and your spouse may even be on the same page, knowing that you both want to end the marriage. The children are a bit more in the dark, though, and you need to break the news to them. What should you do?
First, sit down and plan out the “speech” that you’re going to give. It’s a discussion, naturally, that will include back-and-forth dialogue. But you still want to write down the key points so that you don’t miss anything. Take the time to get your thoughts in order in advance, rather than doing it on the fly.
Once you know what to say, get everyone in the family together for a meeting. The best way to tell kids is to tell them all at once, and you want both you and your spouse to be there. Don’t do it alone or start with some children and move on to others later. That just creates potential problems. Do it all at the same time.
The biggest thing, once this all gets moving, is to give the children time to talk. Answer their questions. Tell them you love them. Assure them that it’s not their fault. Address their concerns. Give them a voice and a chance to speak. This is when it really shifts from being a parental speech into a family discussion.
Remember, the goal is to make this all go smoothly for the whole family. Be sure you know what legal steps to take to make that happen.