One of the divorce's most challenging tasks is telling your kids that their lives will change forever. No matter their ages. There will be tears; looks on their faces you'll never forget; daunting sadness on everyone's part; screaming, and more. The worst? Knowing you're hurting them is horrible, but it's inevitable.
And the hurt has no limitations. They may have been expecting it or had no clue. They are very young and will never remember the original family unit, or they're older and intuitive about divorce.
Ultimately there will be a barrage of questions from your kids of all ages. Here are a few to prepare for:
1) Will we still be able to spend nights as a family together?
2) Where will we live?
3) Are you selling our house?
4) Who will move where?
5) Why are you getting divorced?
6) Why didn’t you try harder to keep our family together?
7) You never fought, so why are you getting a divorce?
8) What will our new schedule be?
9) Is it my/our fault?
10) Why is this happening to our family?
11) Where will we spend the holidays?
12) Does anyone else know about this?
13) Can I talk to my friends about this?
14)When will this happen...today...tomorrow...this month...this year?
15) What about our family vacations?
16) Why don’t you love each other anymore?
17) Do you hate each other?
18) Will we have to go to court?
19) I am SO sad; what should I do?
20) Are you dating someone else?
The above are a few I’ve been privy to, but there are many more. The best you can do for your kids is just love and support them throughout all the stages, then find clarity quickly so they know what to expect next. That is super important because your children take things very literally, so be prepared to answer lots of questions and comfort your babies, whether they're toddlers or grown.
P.S. Here are Some questions of your own to figure out before you tackle the above:
- Are you prepared to answer all of their inquiries?
- Do you have a timeline for the process, fallout, and healing?
- When exactly do you tell your kids (choose a specific date & time of day)?