We have children that are different ages; do we tell them together or individually?

PA post imageNobody knows your children better than you. Use your best judgment when it comes to deciding whether you should talk with kids separately or all together.  Important factors to weigh out are:

  • Personality of the children
  • Significant difference in ages
  • Emotional resilience (child’s ability to manage his or her emotions)
  • Children’s individual needs

Take into consideration that children in the same family often manage their feelings about divorce in very different ways. Some children may react with intense anger while others may feel profoundly sad.  It’s also possible that you may have a child who doesn’t react at all or one that refuses to talk about it. Also the amount of time each child will need to process the news you have shared will vary.

Even if you decide to have individual discussions with each child, make time to also have a family meeting after each child has been told about your decision.  This will give you an opportunity to revisit what has been said, to reinforce it’s okay to discuss it openly and everyone is hearing the same information, offer reassurance to all the children together and to provide them with information about how life will change.