California parents like you put your child before everything else. You want your child’s well-being, health and wellness to remain preserved no matter what the situation is. Unfortunately, divorce can be somewhat counterintuitive to that desire.
Thus, you may ask yourself if there is a way to mitigate the damage that the news of a divorce can do. Is there a right way or time to tell your child about it?
Alter your plan based on your family dynamics
Psychology Today discusses whether or not there is a right time to break news of divorce. Generally speaking, they do not think there is a “right way” to do anything when it comes to divorce. This is because all families are different. With different dynamics come different ways of handling divorce matters. In the end, you must do what is right for your specific situation and family.
Do not wait to tell your child
However, they suggest that you tell your child about the divorce sooner rather than later. Why? Because children are often heavily impacted by a fear of the unknown and the dislike of surprises. If you wait and spring news of divorce on your child at the last second, they do not have a lot of time to digest or prepare for the changes coming in their life.
Opening an honest dialogue with your child can also help them to feel like they are not left behind. You can keep them informed and let them know about changes coming down the road. For example, you can tell them which parent is planning on moving out. This is also the perfect time to reassure your child that you will both continue to be there for them and that you love them no matter what. Bartholomew & Wasznicky has a pamphlet available, “What Should We Tell the Children? A Parent’s Guide for Talking About Separation and Divorce.” Parents can request a copy by sending an email to [email protected].