How To Tell Your School Aged Child Your Getting Divorced

How To Tell Your School Aged Child Your Getting Divorced - Resolve Conflict Family LawyersSurprisingly, or not, your 5-8 year old may already be familiar with the concept of divorce. It is more than likely that several children in their class have divorced parents.

Before breaking the news of your impending separation/divorce you and your spouse should consider discussing your plan.

The following points are a useful guide to consider before telling your child you’re getting divorced.


Consider what concerns and worries your child may have about the divorce and how it may affect their lives. They will probably want to know what will change and what won’t change in their day to day lives.

Note: “What you say and what your kids hear may not be the same thing. Most young children (and plenty of older ones too) will blame themselves for the divorce. It’s important to head that one off as soon as possible by telling them directly that it has nothing to do with them…”[1]


Presenting a united front shows your child that you can still work as a team and have their best interests at heart. This is not a time for blame or accusations it’s about guiding your child through uncharted territory of emotions at the same time reassuring them that everything will be ok.

Related Article:
 The Top 5 Mistakes Divorced Parents Make


Know what you are both going to say and how you are going to say it. Together with your spouse dot point key messages that you think are initially important for your child to hear. There will likely be more conversations in the future about what is happening, however the initial conversation needs to concentrate on the imitate facts.


Children of a young age are innately egocentric and their main concerns may be in regard to specific things that may affect their routine. As discussed above having a plan will help reassure your child of how the divorce will and won’t affect their lives.

“It’s also normal for them to cry, yell, retreat to their rooms, and slam doors. You know your child best. Read her cues to determine if she needs space and time for the news to sink in or whether she needs a reassuring hug.”[2]


“It will take time for your children to process how they feel. You should expect to have many more conversations with them as the separation and divorce proceed. Both you and your spouse should be open to answering questions and responding to your children’s emotional needs. Be honest with them about what you know and what you don’t know.”[3]


[1] Brott, A 2014, 9 Things To Consider Before Telling Your Kids About The Divorce, 26th July 2014, viewed 7th February 2018.

[2] Rabinor, Dr. J 2013, Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids and Yes, Your Ex. , New Harbinger Publications Inc, Oakland

[3] Moninger, J, How to Tell Your Kids That You’re Getting A Divorce, viewed 7th February 2018.

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