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How to Tell Your Children About Your Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerIf you are considering or have decided to divorce your spouse with whom you have children, one of your main concerns is probably how the divorce will affect the children. While it is true that divorce is never easy on a family, many parents find that being separated from their spouse gives them the opportunity to become closer with their children. Studies have consistently shown that having divorced parents in no way means that a child will automatically resent his or her parents or do worse in school. In fact, for some children living in a house filled with tension and feuding, a divorce is a welcome relief.

If you have decided to get divorced and are wondering how to tell your children, you should know that there is no way to have a perfect stress-free conversation. No matter what you do or say, there may be tears shed or feelings hurt. However, by following the guidelines set forth by relationship and child experts, you can minimize misunderstandings and help the conversation go as smoothly for everyone as possible.

Base Your Conversation on Age Appropriateness

When telling your children about your intended divorce, it is best to tailor the conversation to the age of the kids. If you have children under the age of 5, you may want to avoid using complicated terms like “divorce” or “custody.” Instead, experts suggest giving young children the basics. Parents should explain to young children that they will still be the child’s parents and will continue to love and care for them, but that this may not happen in the same house at the same time. Older children can handle a bit more information, but parents should still be cautious of overwhelming the child with too much information at once.

Rhonda Freeman, who runs a program within Toronto’s Family Services Association, says that school-aged children will need extra reassurance. She explains, “Children who think that they might be able to bring their parents back together, or that they somehow contributed to the divorce, will have trouble getting on with the healing process. So, they need to understand that those are adult decisions which they didn’t cause and can’t influence.”

Teenaged children may be the hardest age group to talk to about divorce. Teenagers are at a critical point of development and may already be in an emotionally-venerable state before even hearing the news of divorce. When parents tell older children about their intended divorce, they should make it a point to allow the children to express their feelings. Teens and preteens may feel anger or resentment toward one or both parents when they hear the news. Other teenagers will act like they do not even care about the divorce. However, even though teens may be quicker than younger children to put up a defensive wall, they still require the reassurance and compassion which younger children need.

Considering Divorce?

If you are getting divorced, the skilled DuPage County family lawyers at Pesce Law Group can help. For a confidential consultation regarding your case, call 630-352-2240 today.

Sources:

https://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-tell-your-child-youre-getting-divorced-ages-5-to-8_3657051.bc

https://www.todaysparent.com/family/kids-and-divorce-an-age-by-age-guide/

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