California parents like you put your child before anything else. You want their happiness and well-being no matter what else is happening in your life. This includes when you are going through divorce.
Unfortunately, divorce is an inherently traumatic experience. It is hard to make it easier on your child. But there are ways in which you can break the news that does less damage.
Keep your child’s observational skills in mind
Psychology Today has some tips about how to broach the topic of divorce with your child. The first thing is to remain mindful of your own presentation. Children are often more observant than we give them credit for. They can often pick up on tension, anxiety and anger that you carry into the conversation. Thus, you should avoid tough conversations with your child if you and your co-parent recently argued.
Work together with your co-parent
Also, always approach the conversation together and never one at a time. This helps present a front of unity to your child, who will often find comfort in the stability there. It also gives you the chance to ensure you stay on the same page. This is particularly helpful regarding information you give out and withhold. Your child does not need to know everything about the divorce, after all.
But they should still know some things. Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest issues children have with divorce. If you can remove some of that, you can make the entire thing easier to stomach. For example, let them know which parent will move out. If you know what the visitation schedule may look like, let them know that, too.