Telling a child you are divorcing or separating

The 7 Steps to Managing the Conversation About Divorce and Separation


This is a conversation that is normally best if both you and your ex are present.  Take the time to break the news early in the conversation so that you are spending much of the time concentrating on what will happen in the future.  Finally make sure that you leave them with a sense of security in the plans (if you need help with this, then look at Supporting Children Through Divorce and Separation).

  1. Explain the problem jointly (we have been arguing lots, we have been making each other sad, our arguing has been making the family sad);
  2. Explain the separation to your child;
  3. Explain why and how it will be better;
  4. Make sure they understand this is about their family growing;
  5. Make them feel loved and safe;
  6. Tell them the new arrangements you have worked out;
  7. Make sure they don’t feel alone but don’t crowd them – see my 4 Steps for Helping Children to Overcome Difficulties and Problem Solve.


If you need advice or support with managing divorce for children

If you are going through or intend to go through separation and want some support whilst you readjust your family’s lives, then you might like to consider one of my coaching programmes.

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