Divorce is a very difficult process, and telling your child is one of the hardest parts. Most parents have an idea of how they want to deliver this tough news. But as important as it is to know what to say, it’s equally important to know what to avoid.

Here are some common mistakes that you should steer clear from when delivering the news of divorce to your child:

  1. Talking bad about their other parent: You and your ex should appear as a unified front when you tell your child. Avoid placing blame or saying anything negative about each other. Doing so would only upset your child more.
  2. Ranting: When informing your child about your divorce, it’s best to be brief and stick to the facts. If you start ranting, you may overwhelm your child – or worse, saying something that you might regret.
  3. Telling your kids separately: If you have more than one child, they’ll likely want to lean on each other for support afterward. They may also have similar questions that you’ll want to answer once. Therefore, you should try to tell all of your kids at the same time.
  4. Informing them at a bad time: You should tell your child on a day that they’ll have time to process it, like the beginning of a weekend. If possible, you should avoid telling them around an important event. This could include a big exam, birthday or graduation.
  5. Downplaying the consequences: When you tell your child, you want to reassure them that you love them and they’re your biggest priority. But you shouldn’t let this escalate to telling them that nothing will change. It’s important to be honest about what they can expect following the separation.

Going through a divorce is a tough experience for both you and your child. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can tell your child in the best way possible – and show them that they’re your top priority.