Deciding to get a divorce is just the first step in a long process. You want to sit down and figure out how to approach everything else moving forward. But the first thing you should do is figure out how to break the news to your child.
Is there a right way to do it? A way that mitigates the most damage? Or do you just have to test the waters as you go?
Cooperation is key
Psychology Today breaks down the steps you might take when telling your child about divorce. They emphasize two key things: cooperation and time. For cooperation, you and your co-parent should always work together and not against each other. This may seem like a tall order at times, but it will benefit your child. They get the continued support and security that both parents as a unit offer. They also do not have to see petty squabbles and arguments that might harm them in the long run.
Give them processing time
For time, this simply means you want to give your child as much time and space to process the news as possible. Do not wait until the last second to tell them about divorce. You may think that is the kind option, but it is not. They benefit more from time to adjust and process than they do from time living as a “normal family”.
Do what you can to prepare for the discussion, too. Talk to loved ones who have gone through divorce. Ask experts for advice. Browse the internet. But above all, know that every child is different. Your child will react in a different way than any other child. Just provide support and love, and get ready to expect the unexpected.