It goes without saying that the dissolution of a marriage often has a profound effect on spouses who go through this experience. However, when children are involved, a divorce can have more consequences and far-reaching impacts, such as child custody. Here are a few ways parents in Illinois can talk to their children about divorce and make the experience less stressful for everyone.
Keep it clear and simple
When speaking to the kids about divorce, parents need to keep a calm tone and make explanations simple and to the point. Leave out messy details that may make the children think that they are the reason for divorce or that they need to fix the situation. Children may have different reactions and feelings about the news, but make it clear that the split is for the best and that both parents will be happier. Also, listen to the children and allow them to vent. Pay close attention to their reactions.
Let them know they are loved and safe
For the children, their main focus will revolve around security and their safety. Children need to know that they are a priority, safe and, most importantly, loved. Even though they may not voice concern, children often worry about whether they are the cause of the divorce. Be upfront and let them know that there will be changes in their day-to-day lives, but provide reassurance that they are loved and secure.
The most important thing to remember is that the children must know that there was nothing they did that caused the separation. Reassure them repeatedly that the divorce was solely an adult decision. Parents in Illinois who divorce may have questions about the future and what options they have for child custody. It is often helpful to consult an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about the legalities surrounding child custody.