You may have already struggled with the decision to end your Tennessee marriage. Now you need to explain to your children why you are doing so. This conversation requires careful planning. You want to have a script ready to fall back on so that you do not say anything that worsens the situation.
You do not need to overshare
When you first tell the children about the divorce, they will likely be upset and have many questions about what their lives will be like in the future. You can also expect them to ask why you are splitting up.
You should try to keep the explanation age appropriate. The reasons for your divorce may be complex, but your children do not have to hear the messy details about their parents’ misbehavior or incompatibility.
You may want to speak in general terms with explanations like:
- This is how we can stop fighting all the time.
- We have grown apart and no longer want to live together.
- We tried to fix things but can’t.
Avoid making the children the reason
Make sure to frame your explanation as a problem between you and their other parent. Do not say or imply that the divorce is necessary for the children, even if it could benefit their well-being. You do not want to them to think of themselves as the cause of the divorce.
As the conversation moves forward, encourage your children to ask questions. They will have concerns about where they will live and which school they will attend. They may latch onto their fear of being separated from their friends as they grow anxious about every aspect of their lives. Focus the conversation on the elements of their lives that will stay the same.