Getting divorced isn’t easy especially when you have kids. These three tips can help you deliver the tough news about your divorce in the best possible way to your children.

By Carolyn Ellis

“Mom and dad are getting divorced” is the conversation every parent dreads telling their children. There’s no easy way to share the news with your kids that life as they have known it up until now will suddenly become very different.

When you are absolutely certain that your marriage is not going to work, it’s time to let your children know you’re getting divorced so you can frame the decision in a way that will support them in being able to absorb this shift in their family. If at all possible, it’s best for ideally both parents to sit down and deliver the news mom and dad are getting divorced together.

Telling your children you are getting divorced brings up a lot of guilt, shame, sadness and uncertainty that runs counter to the strong parental drive to see our kids happy and want nothing but the best for them. What you say and how you say it has a huge impact on how your children feel about the impending changes to their lives, post-divorce.

Here are three important tips to help you deliver the upsetting news of your divorce to your children in the best way possible.

1. Prepare What You’re Going to Say Beforehand

Do yourself and your children a favor by making some notes ahead of time of how you want to share the news that you’re getting divorced. Expect that it’s going to be a very emotional conversation, not just for your children but for you as well.

Be prepared by having at least a few bullet points about what you want to say and how much information you feel is important to share with your children in this first conversation. Deliver the news in a way that is age-appropriate for your children. You can even rehearse a few times out loud to yourself which will help you be better able to assess if you’re being clear, loving and calm.

Preparation in advance helps you feel more centered and better able to communicate in a loving way. If you just try to “wing it” in the moment, chances are high you’ll end up saying something you might regret and having to patch it up with your children or your soon-to-be ex-spouse afterwards.

2. Stick to Key Messages

The most important message when telling your children you’re getting divorced is to assure your children that mom and dad love them and always will. Your love for them as parents isn’t going away even though mom and dad won’t be living together anymore. Children need reassurance that they are loved and that you will both be in their lives. Reassure them that divorce is something that happens between adults, and that they are in no way to blame for mom and dad’s marriage ending.

3. Keep It Simple

Have answers to some of the basic questions children often ask when they learn that their parents are separating. Where will I live? When will I get to see dad and when will I get to see mom? Will I have to change schools? Will I still get to have my toys? Children are typically far more concerned about the practical changes the separation and, ultimately, the divorce, will change their day-to-day lives.

CE-Pitfalls-coverCarolyn Ellis is the Founder of and She is an award-winning coach, transformational expert and author of the award-winning The Divorce Resource Kit and The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. Combining her deep intuitive abilities with her Harvard-trained brain, Carolyn specializes in helping individuals navigate change and uncertainty by tapping into their own inner brilliance and emotional resilience. To learn more or to book a session, please visit