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Ten Tips for Sharing Divorce News with Your Young Children 

Posted on in Divorce

naperville divorce lawyerMaking the decision to divorce your spouse is difficult. However, breaking the news to your children can become another hurdle. News of a separation, divorce, or breakup can be highly unsettling for children, especially young ones. Kids thrive off of routine and stability, making separation difficult for them to accept. If you are struggling to break the news of a breakup with your kids, here are ten tips that can help you prepare for a conversation. 

1. Meet with a Child Psychologist 

Many psychologists and therapists specialize in working with children. Having a licensed counselor working alongside your children as they go through a divorce can help a child process their emotions and healthily work through grief. A therapist can provide you with strategies for communicating with your children. 

2. Maintain a Routine 

Children thrive on familiar behaviors, places, and people. One of the best ways to ease a child into a new lifestyle is by preserving some of an old routine or sticking to a new one. For example, sticking to the same morning and night routine can help a child adjust to a new home or city. 

3. Reassure Relationships 

Kids tend to fear that they are losing one or both parents during a divorce. It is essential to reassure your children that your relationship with them will remain the same. If both parents will maintain a significant role in their lives, it is best to share with the kids that both mom and dad love them no matter what and will always be there for them. 

4. Prepare Siblings 

If your children are of different ages, it can be helpful to talk to the older siblings first. Depending on a child’s age and maturity, kids can handle the conversation differently. An older child may have more questions than a younger sibling. Also, an older sibling can help reassure their younger brothers or sisters that you are still a family and that they will stick together. 

5. Plan the Talk

Rather than springing the news on your children while your emotions are still fresh, plan the right timing to speak to the kids. Make sure you have made all of the critical decisions with your spouse regarding child custody, living arrangements, and visitation so you can answer questions that your children may have. Being overly emotional or sharing the news too early can confuse or upset children. 

6. Assure them it is Not Their Fault 

Children may blame themselves for a divorce. It is common for children to hide this unconscious belief, which can turn into negative outbursts or unhealthy coping mechanisms. Parents must explain to their children that the divorce has nothing to do with them and that it is a decision made by mom and dad. Reassure your children that both parents still love them. 

7. Inform Teachers and Friends 

One of the best ways to provide stability and emotional support for your children while you navigate a divorce is by informing their caretakers of the situation. Having their close mentors, teachers, or family friends aware of your plan will allow them to understand your child’s emotions. It can also give you a network of support in the need for child care or assistance. 

8. Give it Time 

The news of a divorce can be unsettling for children. It is essential to give kids time to process the information and allow them to express negative emotions or feelings. Although it may be challenging to see your children grieving during a divorce, it is a part of the acceptance process. Try not to deny their feelings; instead, offer your emotional support and understanding. 

9. Do Not Fight in Front of the Kids 

Fighting in front of your children can cause more stress during a divorce. If you are reassuring your children that both mom and dad are still there and that you are still a family, fighting or blaming your spouse while the kids are around can confuse them. Stay amicable with your spouse while the children are around, and work through your marital issues privately or with your divorce attorneys

10. Be Truthful 

Lastly, staying truthful when speaking with your children about a divorce is essential. Try not to give them false hope of your marriage working out, and make sure they are aware of all the changes affecting them. Having an honest, open line of communication is best when preparing your family for this significant lifestyle change.

Speak to a Naperville Divorce Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., our Naperville family lawyers can help you prepare for your divorce. We understand the sensitive nature of working through legal marital issues, especially when children are involved. Our lawyers can help you design the best strategies that produce a favorable outcome for all members of your family. To schedule a free consultation with our office, please call 630-355-7776

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3900000&SeqEnd=5400000

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8675000&SeqEnd=12200000

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