While you might not be looking forward to telling your children about the divorce, its important to be mentally prepared for the questions they might have especially if youre telling your children as a couple. Children like knowing what to expect and while you might not know the details to everything here are four questions theyll likely want answered so theyre not left frightened about the family change.
Where am I going to live?
While this isnt the easiest question to answer, its important to have a general idea on the living arrangements before telling your children about the divorce. If the two of you cant seem to agree on the living arrangements, come up with a simpler answer that will satisfy their question, without committing to something that might not happen. Youll spend some time with mommy and some time with daddy. Should work. If they continue to press into the details, let them know you havent yet decided, but will let them know as soon as you do.
Will he/she still come to my (soccer games, concerts, birthday)?
A child should never have to choose between parents attending important events so try to establish a mutual rule between the two of you before telling your children. Your child should be allowed to invite both parents to all extracurricular functions throughout the year, with the exception of holidays.
Where will he/she live? Will I visit?
If one of the parents moves out of the family home, its important to address any concerns the child might have with moving. Although there will always be an adjustment period, its important that the child understands what the visitation will look like. Will they have their own room? Will they be able to see old friends? Can they bring some items to the new home? Make sure they feel confident in the new home by answering any questions they might have ahead of time.
Are you mad at me? Is this my fault? Do you still love me? Will you stop loving me too?
Children believe many items in life are their fault; stemming from the need to find a fault of a traumatic event. Unfortunately, this often means they take personal blame for the divorce. Its important to understand that while it seems absurd for the adult mind to rationalize this behavior, children need persistent confirmation that you still, will and always love them regardless of what happens.