Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process for everyone involved, and when children are part of the equation, the situation becomes even more complex.

Talking to kids about divorce is a delicate task that requires sensitivity, empathy, and understanding.

This blog post explores how to approach this difficult conversation and offer practical tips to help parents navigate it with care and concern.

Choose the Right Time and Place

When broaching the subject of divorce with your children, timing and location matter. Select a time when you can provide undivided attention and minimise distractions. It's often best to have this conversation in the comfort of your own home, where your children feel safe and secure. Make sure you have ample time for the discussion and that there are no pressing obligations afterward.

Be United as Parents

Both parents should be present for this conversation whenever possible. Presenting a united front sends the message that the decision is mutual and that you will continue to co-parent effectively. It also prevents one parent from being labeled as the "bad guy." However, if one parent isn't available, it's crucial to communicate that the decision is made together.

Use Age-Appropriate Language

One of the most critical aspects of discussing divorce with children is using age-appropriate language. Younger children may not fully understand the concept of divorce, so it's essential to explain it in a way they can grasp. Older children may have a better understanding but still require honest, clear, and age-sensitive explanations.

For younger children, you might say something like, "Mum and Dad are going to live in different houses, but we both love you very much, and that will never change."

For older children, you can provide more details without overwhelming them, such as, "We've been having some problems in our marriage, and we've decided that it's best for us to live separately."

Emphasise Love and Support

Reassure your children that the divorce is not their fault and that you both still love them deeply. Children may often blame themselves or feel guilty about the situation, so make it clear that your decision as parents has nothing to do with their behaviour or actions.

Let them know that both parents will remain actively involved in their lives and that they can count on your love and support. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns openly.

Allow Questions and Emotions

Children will likely have a multitude of emotions and questions when they first learn about the divorce. Be prepared to listen, answer their questions honestly, and validate their feelings. It's essential to create a safe space for your children to express their thoughts and emotions without judgment.

Be patient, as these discussions may take time. Some children may need several conversations to fully process the situation and ask all their questions.

Avoid Blaming or Criticising

During the conversation about divorce, avoid blaming or criticising your partner. Negative comments about the other parent can be emotionally damaging to children and create a hostile environment. Focus on explaining the situation without laying blame, and emphasise that this decision is about the adults and not the children.

Create a Co-Parenting Plan

Part of the conversation about divorce should include a discussion of how co-parenting will work. Explain your commitment to working together as parents, even though you will be living separately. Emphasise that both parents will continue to be involved in the children's lives and that their well-being is a top priority.

Discuss visitation schedules, shared responsibilities, and any changes to their daily routines. Having a clear plan in place can provide a sense of security and stability for your children.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

Divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience for children, and some may struggle to cope with the changes. If you notice signs of distress, behavioural changes, or emotional difficulties in your children, it may be beneficial to seek the assistance of a child therapist or counsellor. These professionals can provide the support and guidance necessary to help children process their emotions and adjust to the new family dynamics.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

After the initial conversation about divorce, it's essential to keep the lines of communication open with your children. Let them know that they can come to you with any questions, concerns, or feelings they have in the future. Reassure them that your love and support remain unwavering and consistent.

Encourage them to express their emotions through various means, such as journaling, drawing, or talking to a trusted friend or counsellor.

Monitor the Impact on Academic and Social Life

Divorce can have a significant impact on a child's academic performance and social life. Pay close attention to how your children are coping with these aspects of their lives. Keep in touch with teachers and school counsellors to ensure they are aware of the situation and can provide additional support if needed.

Additionally, talk to your children about any changes in their social life or friendships. They may need support and guidance in navigating new social dynamics.


Talking to children about divorce is one of the most challenging conversations parents may face, but it's also one of the most crucial. How you handle this conversation can significantly impact your children's emotional well-being and their ability to adjust to the changes in their family structure.

Approach the conversation with empathy, honesty, and reassurance. Your decision to go through with a divorce is due to the issues you both have, so ensure that your children understand that the divorce is not their fault and that both parents will continue to love and support them.

Create a co-parenting plan, keep the lines of communication open, and be vigilant in monitoring the impact of divorce on your children's academic and social lives.

Remember that children are resilient, and with the right support and guidance, they can navigate the challenges of divorce and emerge with a strong foundation for their future.