Divorce is a scary and overwhelming matter, one that can be made even more stressful when children are involved. One of the scariest aspects of divorce for parents is breaking the news to the kids about the divorce. While this may seem like an ominous task, there are many helpful tips and guidelines out there to help you give ‘the talk’ as best as you can.
First and foremost, many children feel that if their parents- who are supposed to love each other no matter what- can stop loving each other, then who’s to say they won’t stop loving the kids as well? Children often fear that they will lose one of their parents after a divorce or that they will be abandoned altogether; assure them this is not the case. Make sure your children know that you will always be there for them and will never stop loving them.
To give the talk effectively, it’s best for you and your spouse to agree on what you’re going to say ahead of time. You want to iron out all the details of what will and will not say in front of the kids. It’s important that the two of you do not argue or contradict each other when breaking the news. It’s best to try and present a united front so that the children see you will both remain a part of their lives. You are still a family, just a different one. However, not all divorces are especially amicable. If you and your spouse must have separate talks with the kids, you should still agree on what you will be telling them. You do not want to send conflicting messages about the divorce.
Many times, especially with younger children, parents are asked difficult questions regarding the divorce. Instead of shrinking away from these questions, try your best to be as honest as possible. This will help reduce the confusion for your children as well as aid them in dealing with the situation. As difficult as it may seem, it’s better to be truthful than to try and make it okay with words such as ‘It’ll be OK.’
Divorce is scary, and talking to your kids about divorce is even scarier. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and has questions about how to approach their kids about the subject, do not be afraid to contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney to assist you.