Informing your children of your impending divorce is likely one of the most difficult tasks you will face as you make the transition from married to single parent. Since the divorce process is unique to each family, there is only so much you can control as you navigate this difficult journey. No one knows your children or understands the bond you share as a family better than you. Delivering the news is never easy, but according to psychology experts, a premeditated conversation can create the opportunity for a smoother, less stressful experience for everyone involved.
Psychologists emphasize that learning of their parents’ divorce is something that a child will always remember. How you handle the conversation can have a lasting impact on your children’s perception of their long-term family life, and it can also affect how they take the news in the immediate, short term. You will likely want to approach this matter with delicacy, but you can also use the conversation as a chance to reassure your children that you will always be there for them and let them know about some positive changes they may be experiencing.
Being open and honest with your children while discussing your divorce in an age-appropriate manner can help the conversation proceed more smoothly. The following tips can help ensure that your children will understand what to expect as you go through the divorce process:
Tell everyone at the same time - If possible, try to have both parents present for the talk, and if you have more than one child, attempt to tell everyone in a single discussion. Some parents feel it is best to try to shield younger children from the news, but experts say doing so may place a heavier burden on the children you choose to tell, while alienating the ones you do not. Ideally, pick a time and a place where the whole family can gather together to break the news and discuss the changes to their lives.
Allow your children to feel and express emotions - Studies show that reactions can vary greatly from one child to the next when it comes to news of a divorce. Try not to make assumptions about your child’s reaction, but instead allow them to react naturally and express their emotions. Psychologists recommend keeping the conversation simple by avoiding unnecessary details about the reasons why your marriage is ending. Explain calmly and clearly what is happening, and wait to hear what your child has to say. Do not be surprised if it takes them days, weeks, or even months to fully process the information. Continue to be attentive and listen as they express their thoughts over time.
Offer assurance - Regardless of your child’s immediate response to the news, it is important to remain calm and confident, and to give them a glimpse of what their life will look like after Mom and Dad separate. Children thrive on routine and rely on predictability within family structures, so it comes as no surprise that one of the biggest stressors of divorce for kids of all ages is the disruption of routine. Despite the differences that led to your decision to end the marriage, you can do your best to remain respectful of the other parent and encourage your child to ask questions about how things will be different once one parent moves out. The key is to assure your child that you will continue to take care of them as you always have, and that they are loved and safe, despite the changes happening at home.
Figuring out how to tell your child that you are divorcing can be daunting, especially when you feel as if the burden rests entirely on you. If you are experiencing a high-conflict separation, consider speaking with a seasoned DuPage County family law attorney. At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, our lawyers understand the emotional hardships and legal conflicts that can result from the end of a marriage. To learn how we can help you reach a positive resolution to your divorce, contact us today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.
Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you: