How to Tell Your Kids About Divorce Gently?

Last Updated on May 14, 2023

Divorce is a challenging topic to discuss with children. It can be emotionally upsetting and confusing for them. As a parent, it’s important to handle it in a gentle manner to ease the impact it can have on them. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the significance of telling kids about divorce and provide tips on how to do it in a sensitive way.

It’s essential to ensure that the children understand that the divorce is not their fault. This blog post will also cover how to alleviate their fears and concerns while maintaining an honest conversation about the changes that will occur.

How to Tell Your Kids About Divorce Gently?

In short, handling divorce discussions gracefully will guide children as they face various difficult transitions. It’s essential to communicate love, reassurance, and support so that the children are informed, respected, and feel heard, which makes all the difference during the first stages of this process.

We understand that it’s not an easy conversation to have, but it’s a necessity that shouldn’t be overlooked. We hope that this blog post will serve as a useful resource to ensure that this conversation can take place without stress or anxiety.

Read: What Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce Process?

Prepare Yourself

Divorce is no doubt a difficult decision and a challenging experience, especially when you have children. Telling your children about your divorce can seem like an impossible task, one that can terrify you. You may be unsure of how to go about it, what words to use, how to say it, and how your children will react.

However, despite how uneasy it sounds, it is crucial to prepare yourself for the conversation in advance and make it as comfortable as possible for your children.

The following are some guidelines to help prepare yourself emotionally and mentally before having the talk with your children:

1. Take time to process the emotional impact of the divorce

  • While this may be a challenging time, it’s important to give yourself time to accept and grieve the situation before involving your children.

  • Processing your emotions before the conversation will enable you to remain calm and composed, so you can answer any questions your children may have.

2. Think through what you want to communicate to your children

  • Before talking to your children, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to communicate to your children.

  • Depending on the age of your children, you may need to tailor your message to ensure your children can comprehend the situation while avoiding getting into the nitty-gritty of the divorce.

  • Ensure your message is truthful yet age-appropriate. Avoid going into the details of the divorce, and instead, focus on how it will impact your children’s lives.

3. Consider where and when to have the conversation

  • Choosing an appropriate time and place to talk to your children about the divorce can make a big difference in how they will react to the news.

  • Pick a time when there are no distractions such as before bedtime, when your children are already cranky, or during an important event.

  • Choose a place that is private, quiet, and comfortable for your children. It’s wise to pick a location that is familiar to your children such as your living room or bedroom.

Telling your children about divorce is never an easy task. You may feel guilty, scared, or anxious about the conversation, but it is essential to remain calm, composed, and loving throughout the conversation.

Let your children know that although things may change in the future, you will always love and support them. Remember, your children are learning how to respond to this situation based on how you and your partner communicate with them.

Divorce is a challenging yet inevitable part of life. However, how you break the news to your children will impact how they respond to the situation both now and in the future.

By preparing yourself in advance, processing your emotions, and choosing an appropriate time and place for the conversation, you will ensure that the conversation will go as smoothly as possible.

Remember to be honest, truthful, and supportive throughout the conversation, and remind your children that you will always love and support them, no matter what happens.

Read: Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Divorce

Plan What to Say

Divorce can be a tough decision, and it can be even harder when children are involved. As a parent, you want to make sure that your children are not negatively affected by your separation. Therefore, it is essential to plan what you are going to say to your children about the divorce. Here are some tips for planning what to say:

1. Decide on a script or talking points

  • Prepare what you want to say to your children in advance.

  • Write down the key points you want to address.

  • Make sure you are clear and concise in explaining what is happening.

2. Avoid blaming or bad-mouthing the other parent

  • Avoid making negative comments about your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

  • Do not blame the other parent for the divorce.

  • Be respectful and neutral when discussing the other parent with your children.

3. Emphasize that the decision to divorce has nothing to do with the children

  • Explain that the decision to divorce is between the adults and has nothing to do with the children.

  • Emphasize that both parents love their children and will continue to be there for them.

  • Reassure your children that their parents’ divorce will not change their love or support for them.

Remember that your children’s well-being should be at the forefront of your mind when planning what to say to them about your divorce.

Always act in the best interests of your children, and aim to be as open and honest as possible. Your children will likely have many questions, so be prepared to answer them as openly and calmly as possible.

By following these tips, you can help minimize the impact of divorce on your children. Remember, divorce is never easy, but with the right approach, you can make the process less painful for your children.

Read: Major Reasons Financial Issues Can Cause Divorce

Consider Your Children’s Ages and Personalities

Divorce is a tough topic to broach with anyone, let alone your children. It’s never easy, but it’s important to consider their ages and personalities when you sit down to have that conversation.

Young Children

For young children, it’s important to keep things simple. Use age-appropriate language and try to make it as easy as possible for them to understand. Let your child know that you and your partner will no longer be living together, but reassure them that they are still loved and cared for.

Tips for Explaining Divorce to Young Children:

  • Use simple language that they can understand

  • Avoid placing blame or badmouthing your partner

  • Reassure them that they are still loved and cared for

  • Let them know they can still see both parents

  • Answer their questions honestly but briefly

Older Children

Older children may have a better understanding of divorce, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier for them. They may be more aware of the complexities involved and may have more questions or concerns.

Tips for Explaining Divorce to Older Children:

  • Be honest with them about the reasons for the divorce

  • Avoid placing blame or badmouthing your partner

  • Reassure them of their importance in both parents’ lives

  • Let them know they can still see both parents

  • Be open to answering questions and addressing concerns they may have

Personality and Emotional Temperament

Each child is unique, and that means their response to divorce will be unique as well. It’s important to account for your child’s individual personality and emotional temperament when preparing to talk to them about divorce.

Tips for Dealing with Different Personalities:

  • For sensitive children, be gentle and reassuring

  • For outgoing children, give them the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings

  • For anxious children, provide extra reassurance and structure

  • For defiant children, stay calm and consistent in your approach

  • For self-blaming children, reassure them that they are not at fault

Preparing for Potential Questions or Reactions

Children may have a lot of questions or reactions when you tell them about divorce. It’s important to be prepared to address their concerns and provide reassurance as needed.

Tips for Preparing for Potential Questions or Reactions:

  • Anticipate their questions and come up with honest, age-appropriate answers

  • Be prepared for a range of emotions and reactions

  • Reassure your child that they are loved and cared for

  • Let them know who they can talk to if they need additional support

  • Follow through on any promises you make to your child

To be truthful, talking to your children about divorce is never easy, but taking into account their ages and personalities can make it a little bit smoother. Be honest, but gentle, and reassure them that they are loved and cared for. Be prepared for a variety of questions and reactions, and don’t be afraid to seek additional support if needed.

Read: How Can Forgiveness in Love Heal and Strengthen Bonds?

Choose the Right Setting

Choosing the right setting is crucial when it comes to breaking the news of divorce to your children. Here are some tips to help you choose the right setting for this sensitive conversation:

  • Pick a location where your child feels comfortable and safe.

  • Choose a setting where your child won’t feel threatened or intimidated.

  • Make sure the setting allows for privacy and uninterrupted conversation.

  • Set aside enough time to have this conversation without feeling rushed.

  • Avoid breaking the news during particularly stressful times like a birthday or exam week.

In order to minimize the stress and trauma associated with divorce, choosing the right setting is key. Parents should aim to create a comfortable and safe environment where their child feels comfortable and at ease. This could be anywhere from a quiet corner of the house to a favorite park or even a trusted relative’s home.

When choosing the location for the conversation, parents should keep in mind that children may feel threatened or intimidated when confronted with difficult news. It’s important to choose a space that doesn’t feel confrontational or aggressive. This could mean avoiding areas of the home that are associated with conflict or tension and instead opting for a neutral location.


Choosing a space that is safe and comfortable, parents should also ensure that the conversation can take place without any interruptions or distractions. Turning off phones and other devices can help create an environment where both parent and child can give their full attention to the conversation at hand.

Another important consideration is time. It’s crucial to set aside enough time for the conversation without feeling rushed or hurried. If possible, parents should choose a time when they won’t feel pressure to rush off to another commitment or event.

Finally, parents should avoid breaking the news during particularly stressful times like a birthday or exam week. This can add an unnecessary burden to an already challenging time for the child. Instead, aim to choose a time when the child is likely to be in a calm and relaxed state of mind.

Overall, choosing the right setting for the conversation about divorce can have a big impact on how the child processes the information. By creating a comfortable and safe environment, minimizing distractions, and choosing the right time, parents can help their kids navigate this difficult transition with as little stress as possible.

Read: The Science of Happiness: How to Cultivate Joy and Improve Your Health

How to Tell Your Kids About Divorce Gently?

Communicate the News Compassionately

Divorce is a difficult decision to make, especially when you have children. As a parent, it’s essential to communicate the news empathetically and compassionately. Here are three ways on how you can do this:

  • Use age-appropriate language to express your decision to divorce.

  • Allow your child to ask questions and express emotions.

  • Reassure them that they are loved and that both parents will always be there for them.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these methods.

Use Age-Appropriate Language to Express Your Decision to Divorce

When talking to your child about your decision to divorce, it’s crucial to use age-appropriate language. You don’t want to confuse or scare your child with words they don’t understand.

For younger children, you can explain that mommy and daddy won’t live together anymore, but they still love them very much.

For older kids, you can provide more explanation, such as “Mom and Dad have been struggling to get along, and we think it’s best if we don’t live together anymore.”

Allow Your Child to Ask Questions and Express Emotions

After telling your child about the divorce, give them time to ask questions and express their emotions. Let them know that it’s normal to be sad, angry, confused, or scared.

Encourage them to share their feelings, but also assure them that everything will be okay. Be prepared to answer questions truthfully but in a way that won’t further traumatize your child. Listen to their concerns and acknowledge their worries.

Reassure Them That They Are Loved and That Both Parents Will Always be There for Them

No matter what age your child is, it’s essential to reassure them that they are loved by both parents, and nothing will change that. Explain to them that their parents are divorcing each other, not the child and both of you will always be there to support them and take care of them.

Assure them that they will still have a relationship with both parents and will continue to see them regularly. Make sure that you keep that promise and provide a safe environment where they are free to express their emotions.

Divorce is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be traumatic for your child. By communicating the news compassionately, using age-appropriate language, allowing them to ask questions and express emotions, and reassuring them that they are loved, you can make the transition less painful.

Remember that every child is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when talking about divorce. Be patient and understanding, and let your child express their emotions without judgment. Seek the help of a professional counselor if needed, and remember that you are not alone in this journey.

Follow Up and Support Your Children

When going through a divorce, it’s easy to get caught up in the legal and financial aspects and forget about the emotional toll it can take on your children. As a parent, it’s crucial to follow up and support your children throughout this difficult time.

Check-in with your child to see how they are feeling about the divorce

  • Schedule regular conversations with your child to talk about their feelings and concerns.

  • Ask questions and actively listen to what they have to say.

  • Reassure them that they are not to blame for the divorce and that both parents still love them.

Encourage them to communicate with you and express any emotions they may have

  • Let your child know that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or confused.

  • Encourage them to share their emotions with you and express themselves in healthy ways.

  • Don’t dismiss their feelings or tell them to “get over it”.

Seek professional help if needed to tell your kids about your divorce

  • If you’re struggling to tell your kids about the divorce, consider seeking the help of a therapist or counselor.

  • A professional can provide guidance on how to approach the conversation and offer advice on how to support your child through the transition.

  • They can also help your child cope with any emotions or issues that arise as a result of the divorce.

Remember, the way you handle the divorce and support your children during this time will have a significant impact on their overall well-being and future relationships. By checking in with your child, encouraging communication, and seeking professional help if needed, you can help them navigate this challenging time with grace and resilience.


After reading this blog post, it is clear that telling kids about divorce is a delicate matter that requires gentle communication.

It is important to keep the lines of communication open and explain the situation in an age-appropriate way. Assure them that they are not the cause of the divorce and that both parents still love them.

Parents should avoid blaming or bad-mouthing each other in front of the children. This can cause long-term damage to their emotional well-being.

Children need time to process the news and adjust to the changes that will come with the divorce. Parents should be patient and offer emotional support throughout the process.

It is also important to seek outside support and guidance for the parents and children. Professional therapists and support groups can offer guidance and resources.

Overall, gentle communication is key when telling kids about divorce. With patience and support, children can navigate this difficult time and emerge with a healthy understanding of their family’s new dynamic.

Additional resources for support and guidance include:

  • National Parent Helpline (1-855-427-2736)

  • DivorceCare for Kids

  • The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

  • The National Association of School Psychologists

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • The Child Mind Institute

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