How do I prepare my kids for the upcoming divorce?

I have three children (a preschooler, an elementary-age child, and a teenager). How can I help each of them cope with the upcoming divorce? Thanks.

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    6 Responses to How do I prepare my kids for the upcoming divorce?

    1. girlieLA says:

      Well, it really depends on how much they know already. If it’s obvious that this is where things have been headed for awhile, then sit down with the the two older children and tell them very plainly, without any spouse bashing, that you all will not be married/living together/whatever the next step is. Tell them who is moving out and when. Stick to some basic facts, keep it brief and allow them to talk and ask questions. Don’t answer questions that they don’t need the answers to. If someone cheated, they don’t need to know that. It can be as simple as, we can’t get along anymore and we don’t want to continue to live together. Please don’t make it about the kids (‘we don’t want you to live with parents who fight’, because to a child that would make it their fault)
      Ask at their school, or the court, for a good counselor that the kids could talk to about what is going on.
      The baby needs only basic info as it happens. Daddy is moving today and will live somewhere else, is about all a little one can understand.

      If this is out of the blue (for the kids), I’d get a counselor at school or a professional to sit in when you tell them. They could moderate and help you to break the news. It would be best if all of you were there together. If it is totally unknown to the kids they will likely have a more severe reaction, or perhaps suppression of that severe reaction. A pro would be able to help them face this while still figuring out how to live life.

      Good luck and be kind to yourself. Divorce is not easy, on the adults or the kids, but sometimes it is the only answer. Life does get better and being a single parent is not the worst fate in the world. Just remember to take a break for you when you can, and ask friends for help when you need it.

    2. serene e says:

      You really can’t. They are going to feel abandoned, guilty and sad about this. They are going to be shuttled back and forth between the two of you, having essentially, two different lives, neither one they have no control over.
      You’ll find a bf, he’ll find a gf and the chaos will just escalate. New marriages, possibly new step siblings, etc. etc . CHAOS, CHAOS, CHAOS!!!!!

    3. Helen W. says:

      The best way to help them cope is for you and your ex to behave like mature adults instead of insane, vengeful idiots during the divorce. It is not so much the divorce itself as the discord and insanity that hurts the kids.

    4. Alex H says:

      There not gonna like it, but you HAVE to be truthful or it will hurt them more. Lying and waiting is the worst thing to do.

    5. R S says:

      Is it possible for you and your (soon to be ex) husband talk with them together?
      Keep in mind, if you 2 really know it is over….
      You may not have a contract in marriage, but you still have to work together to raise your children so you aren’t going to be out of each others lives entirely for atleast 16 more years… why not try to be united atleast as parents. It will only benefit your kids.

      Tell him you want to sit down together and tell you children together.
      What you need to tell them is simple.

      First and foremost, it is not their fault.

      Do not blame either of you, it will only divide your children and they need both parents..
      at this point focus only on your relationship as parents…..
      Just stick to simple facts and do not answer why questions.

      Tell them that some things will change.
      Like Daddy will live in a different house…
      and they will see mommy and daddy at different times…

      But what will NOT change is:
      you still love them just the same no matter what
      Your committment to their care and well being….
      You will always be there for them just as you are now.

      Having the talk with both parents will give them the most assurance and security they can get in this kind of situation.

      And it will be a good start for supporting each other in parenting down the road.

      If your spouse is not willing or able,
      then have the above described conversation with them yourself and committ to what you know…
      these things will change:

      if you do not know, be honest,
      say you are not sure what all will change *yet*
      and when you do know
      you will sit back down with them and
      talk about it…

      but you do know what will NOT change
      such as…
      where you live
      being their mom
      your committment to their wellfare
      your unconditional love…

      The pain of parenting is that we cannot control the world we bring our kids into or all the circumstances they will encounter.
      All you can control is your own committment to them and the love you show them.
      Even if one good parent is all you can give them, that is all the parent they need and more then many other kid have.

      Remember the serinity prayer…
      the courage to change the things you can,
      the stregnth to accept the things you cant,
      and the wisdom to know the difference..
      I wish you the very best of luck!

      PS it’s not how we fall, its how we rise…..
      and so often what we cannot do for ourselves,
      we can do for our kids.
      God bless

    6. Zem says:

      This is not an easy job to prepare your kids for the upcoming divorce. They will definitely be shocked. However, you should tell your kids the truth and why this marriage is going to an end.

      I am of the opinion that we should try to save our marriage first. I suggest to visit the following link and get more information.

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