Divorce is never easy to discuss with anyone, let alone your children. Knowing how to break the news and what to say can be hard. You want to ensure that you are as truthful and honest as possible, but you also don’t want to frighten or cause them undue stress. It’s a sensitive topic and one that requires a lot of thought and care.

Rather than just sitting down and telling them that you’re getting a divorce, there are other, more creative ways to break the news. Combining a conversation with an activity can help remove the negative aspects of divorce and help your child understand and process the news more positively.

To help get you started, try using some of these creative ways to talk about divorce with your children.

Read a Divorce-Themed Children’s Book

One way to start the conversation is by reading a book about divorce together. This can help to open up the discussion and give you both a chance to ask questions and express your feelings. Learning about divorce where their parents are not the main characters can help to ease some of the anxiety and stress that your child may be feeling, as well as provide characters your child can relate to. It helps develop their foundational understanding of divorce while also providing some emotional distance. There are many different books available, so you can find one that is appropriate for your child’s age and level of understanding.

Create a Divorce Storyboard

Another option is to create a divorce storyboard. This can be done with construction paper, markers, and crayons. You can start by writing down a list of events that will happen during the divorce, such as “Mom and Dad will no longer live together” or “We will move from our house.” Then, you can help your child to create a picture for each event. This can be a helpful way to explain what is happening and to help your child to process their feelings. Of course, hearing things and seeing things can be very different, so make sure to ask your child how they feel after doing this activity.

Watch a Movie Where the Parents Get Divorced

There are many movies out there that deal with the topic of divorce. Watching one of these movies together can provide a jumping-off point for discussion. It can also help your child to see that they are not alone in their experience. Just be sure to choose a movie that is appropriate for your child’s age and that has a positive message about divorce. After the movie, you can talk about how the characters felt and whether your child could relate to them. If you have yet to tell them about your divorce, you may want to wait a few weeks after watching the movie to let the concept marinate and use it as a reference point when you do have the conversation.

Talk About Changes That Will Happen

Another way to approach the conversation is to simply talk about the changes that will be happening. This can be done matter-of-factly, without putting any blame or fault on either parent. For example, you can say, “Mom and Dad are going to live in different houses now,” or “we both still love you, but we won’t be married anymore.” It’s important to keep the conversation positive and to let your child know that they are not responsible for the divorce while introducing new child custody arrangements they can expect to come.

Reassure Them That They Are Not Alone

Many children of divorce feel like they are alone or that they did something to cause the divorce. It’s important to reassure them that this is not the case and that they are not alone. You can tell them about other families who have gone through divorce, or you can share your own experiences. This can help them to feel like they are not the only ones going through this and that it is a normal experience.

A great exercise to do together is to make a list of all the people who love them. Start with immediate family members and then branch out to extended family, friends, teachers, coaches, etc. This will help your child feel loved and supported during this difficult time and educate them on their support network when they might need it most.

Let Them Know That They Can Always Come to You With Questions

Finally, it’s important to let your child know that they can always come to you with questions. This can be a difficult topic to talk about, and they may not want to bring up certain aspects of it. However, you should let them know that they can come to you with anything, no matter how big or small. This will help to build trust and ensure that they feel comfortable talking to you about their feelings.

One exercise that can help children generate questions is to have them make a list of all the emotions they can think of related to divorce. After they made the list, help them to categorize the emotions into three different levels: sad, mad, and glad. This will help them to understand that it’s normal to have a range of emotions when going through a divorce. It can also help to generate questions that they may have about the process. For example, they may be curious about why their parents are getting divorced or how it will affect them. Asking questions can help to foster a healthy discussion and to provide your child with the information they need.

By following these tips, you can help to make the conversation about divorce a bit easier for both you and your child. Remember, it’s important to be patient, to listen more than you talk, and to answer any questions they may have. If you do this, you can help make the transition easier for everyone involved.

Legal Help for Your Divorce

For more information on divorce, contact your local family law attorney. They can provide you with resources and information specific to your situation that will be helpful during this tough time.