talking to tweens and teens

How to Tell Your Kids You Are Getting Divorced

Written on August 8, 2012 at 11:15 am , by

Dr. Janet Taylor offers advice on how to manage your moods, relationships and your life.

Q: How do I tell my tweens that their father and I are divorcing?

A: Before you sit down with your kids, you and your partner should agree on what reason you’ll give them for the divorce. You’ll need to speak honestly but simply about your decision. A statement like “This is our issue” can go a long way. When you come together as a family to discuss the break, reassure them that the divorce is not their fault. It is natural for kids to take on guilt with divorce, but critical that they don’t. Finally, encourage your children to express their emotions. When there is a reaction—and you should expect one—be thoughtful and avoid blaming your soon-to-be ex. You’re there to support your kids. Tell them their feelings always come first and make them believe it with your actions.

Do you know someone who faced this issue? How did they handle talking to their kids about divorce? Tell us in the comments.

Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email us at AskDrJanet@FamilyCircle.com.

Janet Taylor, M.D., M.P.H. A mother of four, Dr. Janet is a psychiatrist in New York City and director of guest support for The Jeremy Kyle Show. Follow her on Twitter @drjanet.