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Telling Your Children about the Divorce

Starting the conversation about your divorce with your kids can feel like stepping into a maze of emotions. Even though you’re certain it’s the right choice for your family, broaching the subject isn’t any easier. But how you handle this difficult talk can significantly impact your children’s well-being. This guide will help you tell your kids about the divorce step by step. We’ll also share a secret most parents don’t know! Let’s talk!

At first Make a Plan to break the news

Creating a plan for telling your kids about your divorce is super important for their feelings during this tough time. It’s best if both parents can talk together calmly. Planning what you’ll say ahead of time helps avoid fights and shows your kids you’re still a team in raising them, even with things changing. It’s crucial to show them you’re both saying, “We can handle this,” even though it’s complicated. But if talking together isn’t possible, it’s a good idea for the parent who spends the most time with the kids to do the talking. This keeps things clear and steady during this big change in the family.

Decide what to say  

The way you talk about the divorce depends on how old your child is and their maturity level. Don’t tell them too much at once, and listen to their questions instead of giving them a bunch of information they might not understand yet.

How to talk to 0 to 5 year old kids about divorce

It can be hard to talk to young kids about divorce. Babies and toddlers need their mommy and daddy a lot, and they don’t understand grown-up things like divorce. Preschoolers are starting to do more things on their own, but they still need help from grown-ups most of the time. They might be confused and scared when things change.

If your child is 3-5 and acting differently, like wanting to be held more or having trouble sleeping, it might be because of the divorce. As a mommy or daddy, your job is to take care of your child and make them feel safe. Even after a divorce, it’s important to keep your child’s life as normal as possible. This means doing the same things each day, like eating meals, playing, taking baths, and going to bed. It also means being there for your child whenever they need you.

To help your child understand, use short and simple words. Tell them who is moving out, where they will live, and when they will see the other parent. If your child asks any question, answer their questions with short answers. It might take a few talks for them to understand everything. Since this age is super important for brain development, the most important thing for both parents is to keep things normal and show them lots of love!

How to talk to 6 to 11 year old kids about divorce:

Kids around 6 to 8 years old are still figuring out their feelings and might not understand grownup things like divorce. They might not understand everything, but they can feel confused.

you can start the conversation gently. we need to talk to you about something important. Your dad and I have been having some problems, and we’ve decided that it’s best for us to live separately. Then you can say We understand this might be hard for you. We’re here to answer any questions you have and help you through this.

This age is emotional, your kid’s eyes may fill with tears and may ask a common question “Does this mean I won’t see one of you anymore?”. You should hug your child tightly and respond, “No, sweetheart. You will still see both of us. We’ll work out a schedule so you can spend time with both Mommy and Daddy. And we’ll still do all the things we love to do together. Like movie nights and playing in the park.” Throughout the conversation, you should listen to your kid’s feelings and answer her questions honestly.

For 9- to 11-year-olds:

For kids aged 9 to 11, understanding their feelings about divorce becomes easier as they grow older, and having more friends outside the family can provide support, although they might still simplify things as right or wrong. However, they may feel scared, mad, or sad about the divorce, and some might even hope their parents will reconcile, questioning if they’re to blame. As a parent your duty is to reassure them it’s not their fault and they can’t fix it.

You could explain it this way if your youngster has seen a lot of parental disagreement and anger:

“You might have heard we fight more lately. We’re both feeling mad sometimes. But remember, we’re not mad at you! This grown-up stuff is complicated, but we’ll figure it out ourselves. It’s not your job to stop us from being mad. Other grown-ups like lawyers and therapists can help us with that. You don’t need to worry, divorce won’t change how much we love you. We’ll both always be here for you. You’re not alone.”

How to talk to 12 to 14 year old kids about divorce

Teenagers are the easiest and the hardest to inform of your divorce.They might have questions and want to talk about it.  Reactions can vary from: “it’s about time” to “you can’t divorce,” and everything in between. If the marriage has been highly conflictual between you and your partner, it may be a relief for your teen.

Talking to 12 to 14-year-olds about divorce means understanding they can grasp what’s happening. Let them know together as a family. Avoid sugarcoating it, but focus on the fact that you both love them and that’s not changing. They might be worried about living arrangements, friends, or seeing both parents. You can reassure them and answer their questions openly.  Make sure you should talk in a straightforward and honest way about what things will look like moving forward, like living arrangements and spending time with each parent. It’ll be best if you give them some age appropriate books about divorce. That can be a great way to open up communication with your kids.

Tips for Conducting the Conversation with your kids

When you’re getting ready to talk to your kids about what’s going on, remember that timing matters. Don’t spill the beans too early, because that can make them worry a lot. Instead, try to tell them a little while before big changes happen. Surprises aren’t good in this situation, so make sure they know what’s coming. And don’t go pointing fingers or blaming anyone. Let your kids know it’s not their fault; it’s just something that’s happening. Always be honest with them. If you start telling fibs, they might think it’s okay to do the same. It’s important to talk to your co-parent and do this together. It’s a team effort. When you sit down with your kids, keep it simple. Tell them why you’re getting a divorce in words they can understand. Let them know you both love them a whole lot and that’s never going to change. Reassure them that you’re both going to keep taking care of them. And remind them they don’t have to pick sides – they can love both of you just the same, and you both love them, too. Keep in mind while you talk to your child don’t say bad things about the other parent, or blame the other parents for this divorce. This will result in parental alienation.

Still, If you’re unsure and don’t know how to tell your kids about the divorce, you can get advice from parenting professionals and download the 2houses parenting app on your phone. There are lots of resources there to help you be the best parent you can be for your kids.

Why 2houses?

We are a co-parenting facilitator!


A calendar for everyone, getting organised when you’re divorced is a priority. 2houses provides you an online shared schedule, with many editing, adding, and sync features.


For us, as divorced parents, the financial topic is most of the time a conflict topic. Now, 2houses manages all expenses from each parent, keeps you informed on the situation, day after day, coins after coins.


Communication is key, this is why 2houses offers you an online messaging tool, simple, efficient and secure.


The journal is your quick family social network. You can easily share all information, news, photos, videos, and even your children’s funny quotes. The family is never far away, no matter where you are geographically located.

And many more features!

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