Children of parents seeking a divorce might be sad, upset or even think that your divorce is their fault. But with your help, they might be able to move through this confusing or difficult time with more ease.

Helping your children understand why you chose to divorce can begin with an honest conversation.

Sharing the news

When you first tell your children about your decision to divorce, it can be helpful to plan out the conversation ahead of time. With preparation, you’ll be able to talk to your children at a time that works for both you and your ex. Leading this conversation together may help your children understand that separating your lives is something you both deem as necessary to move on and not something mom is making dad do or vice versa. Thinking about the conversation in advance will also give you time to prepare for any concerns your child will have about who they will live with and if they’ll be moving.

Listening to your kids

After you get a chance to explain why you are breaking up, let your children talk about how they feel about the news. Helping your little ones talk through the emotions they are experiencing can be comforting when discussing both the ups and downs of life.

Following up with your child’s mental well-being after they’ve adjusted to the custody schedule you created is also important. Kids need to know their parents are there to support them, even if their family hasn’t gone through a divorce.

Telling your children about your divorce isn’t easy, but there is support out there. You can talk with family law experts or mediators if you need guidance while planning your divorce.