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Our Marriage is Dunzo. How Will We Tell the Kids?

Posted by Crissy Del Percio | Jan 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

how will we tell the kids about divorce

Create a Cozy Setting:

  • “Kids, put down your phones. We need to talk.”
  • Kick off the conversation in a comfortable, private space. 
  • Think about making it fun–blanket forts, cookies, maybe even a mini family picnic.


Offer Reassurance First:

  • “It's not you, kids. It's us.”
  • Start by assuring your kids that they're still the stars of the family show. Make it clear that the decision to part ways has nothing to do with them. It's not you, kid. It's us.


Friends on a Different Path:

  • “We don't love each other anymore, but we can still be cool.”
  • For the little ones, explain that mom and dad are choosing to live separately, focusing on friendship and support rather than sharing a home.
  • For older kids, you need to choose your level of honesty when you explain why mom and dad are choosing to divorce. Make sure you're both on the same page so you can focus on friendship and supporting your children without any drama.    


Speak Their Language:

  • “Explain this to me like I'm a two-year-old…or a thirteen-year-old.”
  • Tailor your language to suit the age group. 
  • Younger kids might appreciate simple explanations, while older ones can handle a bit more detail without diving into the complexities.


Embrace Humor:

  • “Yes, yes, you get two Christmases now.”
  • Lighten the mood by adding a dash of humor when discussing the reasons for the divorce. 
  • Maybe share a funny anecdote or two, steering clear of heavy, serious tones.


Encourage Open Expression:

  • “Yes, you can scream, cry, and even call me an a-hole. Feel your feels, kids.”
  • Create an environment where your kids feel comfortable expressing their feelings.
  • Whether it's drawing, writing, or just talking, let them know their emotions are valid.


Family Adventure List:

  • “A puppy? That sounds like something that should go on Dad's list.”
  • Turn the changes into a positive by creating a "New Beginnings Bucket List." 
  • Include exciting activities to look forward to, like trying out new hobbies or planning family game nights.


Professional Guidance:

  • “It's time to call an audible.”
  • If needed, consider involving a family therapist or counselor as a neutral guide.
  • They can offer support and help navigate the emotional journey for everyone involved.


Discuss Changes Lightly:

  • “Now you can have a pink bedroom at Daddy's house and a purple one at Mommy's!”
  • Talk about the practical aspects of changes–new living arrangements, schedules, etc.-- with a light touch. 
  • Make it sound like an exciting adventure or a fresh start, not a daunting upheaval.


End with Love:

  • “No matter what, we both still love you. That will never change.”
  • Always end the conversation on a note of love and reassurance. 
  • Remind your kids that, despite the changes, your love for them remains constant and unwavering.

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About the Author

Crissy Del Percio

Crissy Del Percio is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Additionally, she received her undergraduate degrees in Journalism (News and Information) and Communication Studies from the world-renowned home of the Jayhawks – the University of Kansas. She has been practicing law for a decade and spent the first part of her career specializing in helping low-income survivors of domestic violence. Now at Drama-Free Divorce, Crissy enjoys helping people consciously uncouple. She is also a Guardian Ad Litem and domestic mediator. Crissy has won a number of prestigious awards for her work in public service, but you likely recognize her from her acting career, where she is also an award-winner. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her egregiously overpriced dog, Augustus Rodham and knitting. 


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