Even if it is the right decision for a married couple, divorce may be hard on minor kids. While psychologists often recommend developing a comprehensive parenting plan to help young children manage divorce, there is little available guidance for discussing divorce with adult children.
Gray divorce, where individuals over the age of 50 end their marriages, has become increasingly common in recent decades. Nowadays, about 25% of all divorces in the U.S. involve someone over 50. Here are some tips for talking about your divorce with your grown kids.
Join forces with your soon-to-be ex-spouse
If you tell your adult kids about your divorce by yourself, they may immediately worry about their other parent. By joining forces with your spouse to break the news, you present a united front. This approach also allows you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to answer any immediate questions your kids have about your divorce.
Keep an open dialogue
Whether they are 4 or 40, kids often need some time to process surprising information. Rather than expecting your children to accept your divorce immediately, consider keeping an open dialogue. Having several brief conversations allows you to address concerns as they arise.
Cover upcoming events
Many families have plans for holidays, birthdays, vacations and other special events. If you and your husband or wife have already made plans with your adult kids for the upcoming year or beyond, be sure to cover how you intend to handle planned events in your divorce conversation.
Preserving the good relationships you have with your adult children may be one of your more important priorities during your divorce. Fortunately, with some effort and a bit of patience, you can likely discuss your divorce with your kids in a positive and meaningful way.