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Why you should tell kids about divorce at the same time

When you have decided to get a divorce, you know that the next step is to break that news to the kids. The exact way that you do this depends on their age and many other factors.

No matter how you do it precisely, one thing that experts tend to agree on is that you should tell them at the same time. The one-on-one conversations with each child may seem wiser, giving you a chance to focus on each child’s concerns, but those should come later. When it’s the first conversation, as you break the news, you want them all to be there.

Avoiding an unfortunate outcome

The biggest reason to do this is actually that it just helps you avoid a negative outcome, where a child hears divorce rumors from someone else. This can be very traumatic for them. If an older child is told first and then runs to tell the younger brothers and sisters, the whole situation becomes far more chaotic than it needs to be. It can be harder for the children, emotionally speaking, and they may not trust you if they feel like you kept it from them.

Another good idea is to have this family meeting when there are no other plans for the day. It may only take 10 minutes, but it may also take hours. You don’t want the children to feel rushed. You don’t want to end the conversation while they still have serious questions. Choose a time when you can really give this the attention that it deserves. As you move forward, be sure you also know what legal steps to take.