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3 Ways to Remind Your Child That Your Divorce Is Not Their Fault

Posted on in Children

IL divorce lawyerWhen children are facing the difficult reality that their parents are getting divorced, they might respond by internalizing the conflict between the adults. Most children are generally not privy to the many arguments behind closed doors and disagreements that the parents have had for many years. As a result, children may turn inward and blame themselves for their parents’ failing relationship, as well as for the divorce itself. While you might realize that your divorce has nothing to do with your child, they might not be so sure, and it is your job to help your child to stop accepting the blame.

#1: Talk Openly and Carefully

If a divorce is coming, you and your spouse should make every effort to speak with your child together about what will soon be happening. You must be very clear that the split is due to issues that you and your spouse have with one another. Your child did not break the marriage, and they cannot fix the marriage. Also, be sure to talk to your child in a manner that is appropriate for their age, including the details you choose to share. For example, it might be true that the stresses of child-rearing did cause damage to the relationship between you and your spouse. However, if you say that to your second grader, they could interpret that as you saying that he or she caused your divorce by simply existing.

#2: Invite Ongoing Communication

Once you have told your child about the divorce, do not have preconceived expectations about how he or she will handle the information. Everybody handles difficult news in his or her own way. It is also important to avoid asking your child to keep things to himself or herself. Do not put the pressure of secrets on your child. Instead, tell your child only what you are comfortable with others finding out. Similarly, do not force your child to talk to you right away. Instead, offer a safe, welcoming atmosphere in which your child can talk about their concerns or feelings without negative consequences.

It is okay to ask for honesty. If your child hides issues or lies about them, they will only get worse. Your child should know that they will not be forced to talk to you about things, but whenever your child is ready to talk, they must be truthful so that you can address any issues or problems appropriately.

#3: Consistency Is Key

In return, the adults must also promise to be honest as well. It is not a good idea to avoid or deflect the hard questions. If you do, your child may feel ashamed that they asked. It is also okay not to know exactly how to address your child’s concern, but do not make up an answer or lie. Instead, tell your child that you will work together in finding an answer. This will help your child feel heard and valued instead of shut down and guilty. It is also important to listen closely to how your child is talking to you. By doing so, you may be able to identify instances of self-blame. Be sure to redirect responsibility for the divorce back to the adults.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

If you are a parent who is thinking about a divorce, you may have many concerns. Contact an experienced St. Charles divorce lawyer. The knowledgeable team at Goostree Law Group can help you reduce the negative effects that the process can have on your children while helping you secure a favorable outcome. Call 630-584-4800 to schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201201/its-all-your-fault

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

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