Breaking the news of a divorce to the kids is often a difficult conversation for parents, however, there are things they can do to help ease the blow.
Inevitably, when couples in Illinois make the decision to get divorced, they must break the news to their children. For many parents, this may be one of the toughest talks they will ever have with their kids. For children, this is a conversation, which will likely stick with them for the rest of their lives. While there is no easy way for parents to tell their children that they are getting divorced, there are things they can do to help lessen the sting of the news.
Discuss as a family
Finding out that their parents are getting divorced can lead to stress, anxiety and a range of emotions for children. Thus, when the time comes to talk to the kids about divorce, Parents magazine suggests that parents sit down with them together. This may help reassure their children that they will be able to continue parenting them as they always have.
Sometimes, parents feel it is best to tell only the older kids. However, this may put an undue burden on them by asking them to keep this type of secret from their siblings. Therefore, it is recommended that people tell all of their children the news at the same time. They may then choose to discuss the matter further with each child individually.
Avoid the blame game
The end of a marriage is not always a mutual decision. When it comes time to tell the kids, however, it should be presented as such. Furthermore, Psychology Today warns parents against blaming each other when breaking the news. Fighting in front of the children, assigning blame to one parent or the other, or telling the kids that one parent does not want the divorce may only add to their anxiety over the situation. This may affect children’s relationships with one or both parents, or make them feel like they have to choose a side.
Focus on the positives
When telling their children that they are divorcing, it is advisable that parents stay focused on the positives. It is common for children to feel guilty, or like they have somehow caused the split. The Huffington Post points out that parents should emphasize to their children that they are in no way to blame for their decision. While it may not be appropriate to disclose all of the details to their kids, parents may choose to explain that they are no longer getting along and feel it would be best if they lived apart. They should reassure their kids that they both still love and care about them.
While they may not want to discuss it right away, children may have questions after the news sets in. They may want to know how the custody and visitation will work, whether they will have to move or change schools, or even if there is a chance their parents will get back together. Parents may be unsure of the answers or find them uncomfortable to discuss. However, it is important for their children’s sake that they do their best to answer them, even if they are telling them that they do not know. Discussing their questions with them may help children to work through their emotions and deal with this type of major life change.
Working with a lawyer
Going through a divorce in Illinois may be difficult for everyone involved. This is especially true if the matter is drawn out. Therefore, people may consider obtaining legal representation to help negotiate on their behalf and guide them through the legal process.