A couple’s decision to end a marriage can be difficult for not only the two of them but for any children the couple share. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the divorce rate as of 2011 was at approximately 53 percent. Although divorce has become more prevalent within the United States and is often portrayed in the media as a common life experience, it can actually have a huge impact on a child’s upbringing. Thus, it is not only important to talk to your children about an impending divorce but it is also imperative that you use certain tools to help them get used to their new living situation.
Effective Communication Tools
The best way to help your children cope with divorce is through effective communication. Divorce can bring out a lot of animosity against each spouse and it is important that as parents, a couple is careful not to take it out on the children. The following tips can help you communicate with your children and help them cope with your divorce:
- Be honest: Try and explain to your kids why you and your spouse are getting a divorce but in the briefest way possible. Children have a right to know that you and your spouse no longer get along and have chosen to separate. However, it is also important to stress how much both you and your spouse love and support them.
- Inform them about upcoming changes: Let children know immediately what changes they should expect due to the divorce and that you will keep them informed of any other changes as they arise.
- Avoid blaming your spouse: Even though your divorce may be the result of the hurtful actions of your spouse, it is important to not badmouth your spouse in front of your children.
- Listen to your children: Address any concerns your children may have and acknowledge their feelings. Sometimes it is important to show them that you understand what they are going through and that you are there to support them.
- Refrain from arguing in front of your kids: Do not argue with your spouse in your children’s presence.
- Seek counseling: If your children are having a hard time dealing with the divorce, take them to see a professional who specializes in child psychology. Sometimes it may help to speak to a third party who is not involved in the divorce to sort out their feelings.
Divorce can be a challenging experience for the whole family. If you are contemplating divorce in the DuPage County area, contact an Illinois divorce attorney from Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today. Our lawyers are knowledgeable when it comes to Illinois divorce laws and will help you through the process so that you can focus on the rest of your family.