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How do you tell your child about divorce?

When it comes to breaking news of divorce to your children, you likely have a lot of questions going into the matter. Is there a right time to tell them? A right way to approach the topic? Things you should leave out or mention at all costs?

Unfortunately, the answer is not so clear cut. However, there are some tips you can use to make the process go a little more easily for everyone involved.


Psychology Today examines the ways a parent can break news of divorce to their child. First, have a plan with your co-parent as to what you will and will not share with your child. Do not lie to them to soften the blow of the divorce, but you have no reason to divulge every bit of information, either. In fact, some things are much better off left unsaid.

Next, start sooner rather than later. Though you may think you are giving your child extra time to enjoy life before the divorce hits, you actually rob them of precious time they could have used to start coping with and preparing for the upcoming changes.


Finally, stay flexible. No matter how much time you spend combing the internet for advice or interviewing your divorced friends, you can never truly predict how your child will react to news of the divorce. You can likely make a good estimate based on their personality, maturity level and ability to cope with stress, but you must prepare to change tactics on the fly.

By keeping these things in mind, you can smooth the course of the conversation, creating an easier environment for everyone to navigate.