Telling your kids that you’re getting a divorce is a very stressful situation. You may feel like you don’t know how to break the news and anything you say won’t be enough. You may worry about how they’ll react to the news.

Your divorce is a big deal to your children. It can be challenging for them to accept this change and move forward. By following these three tips, you can set yourself up for the best success during this conversation:

1.      Managing your emotions

Although telling your kids and seeing how they’ll react is at the forefront of your mind, take a minute to evaluate how you’re feeling. It’s can be an emotionally draining time for you. Before stepping into the conversation, make sure you have had time to process your emotions. If you don’t take this time for yourself, it may lead to an irrational reaction on your part. Check in with yourself and make sure you’re ready for the conversation ahead. If your emotions are well managed, your children will feel comfortable to express their emotions during the conversation.

2.      Planning the meeting

If you are conducting this conversation with your co-parent, it is beneficial to be on the same page. This will lead to a smoother conversation and you will seem like a united front for your children. Being on the same page can ease your children into the idea of divorce. If they see you fighting, it will cause more stress and uncertainty.

Before you talk with your children, it may be beneficial to plan when you want to talk to your children and gather answers for any questions they may ask. This can make the discussion go smoother when you have ironed out the details. If you are unable to peacefully conduct this conversation with your co-parent, it may be best to have one parent talk with the children.

3.      Allow your children to express their emotions

After you’ve talked with your children, their reactions may be harsh and confused. It’s important to allow them the space to express these emotions and make it clear that you’re there to answer the questions they have. Just like you, your children need to process their emotions on their own time.

Telling your children about your divorce is stressful, but necessary. The most important thing is to lead with your love for your children. Although this is a shocking conversation, your love and support will give your child the tools they need to process this change.