Many parents ask the same sort of questions when going through the divorce process. This includes a classic question: when should you tell your child about the divorce? After all, you cannot keep it a secret forever.
While experts do not see eye to eye on everything, they do seem to largely agree on a few things. Timing is one of them.
What do professionals say?
As Psychology Today discusses, there is no right answer to this question. Telling your child about divorce is a unique process for every family. However, experts largely agree that you should break the news sooner rather than later. But why?
First, it gives your child time to process this new information and figure out how they want to cope with the oncoming changes in their future. If they see it coming months in advance, they have months of time to mentally prepare for the new life they will lead.
Setting up good coping skills
It also gives them time to get any potential poor coping out of the way, giving you and your co-parent the chance to step in and help guide them, too. For example, they may voice fears or concerns about their role in your divorce, and you can use this as a chance to show them that they have nothing to do with it.
Also, keep in mind that children are often more perceptive than most people give them credit for. Even if you choose not to tell your child about the divorce just yet, chances are they will pick up on something not feeling quite right in the family dynamic. Leaving them in the dark will just increase this unease and offer no explanations for it.