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How to Answer Your Child’s Biggest Divorce QuestionsWhen you break the news of your divorce to your children, you should be prepared for them to ask several questions. You need to be considerate of their feelings when answering these questions because a poorly worded answer could make them more upset. Keep in mind that:

  • Your children are most concerned about how your divorce affects them.
  • They need your reassurance without you making promises that you cannot keep.
  • There are some details about your divorce that your children should not know.

You can reasonably expect that your children will ask you some variation of the following questions:

  1. Why Are You Getting Divorced?: When answering this question, it is important to convey that your children did not cause the divorce and that you will both continue being their parents. Say that it was a difficult decision but what you feel you need to do. Your children do not need to hear about the reasons you are unhappy in your marriage or events that led to your divorce.
  2. Do You Still Love Me?: Getting a divorce usually means that you no longer love your spouse. This may cause your children to wonder whether you could stop loving them. Obviously, the relationship between a parent and child is different than between spouses. Reassure them that you will always love them, even if you do not feel the same way anymore about their other parent.
  3. Will You Get Back Together?: You should be confident in your decision to divorce before you tell your children about it. Do not tease them with the hope that you may reconcile your relationship. Tell them that you will not change your minds and that your breakup is permanent.
  4. Where Will We Live?: This can be a tricky question because the answer depends on how you divide parenting time and whether you decide to keep your marital home. The best answer is that they will have two homes – one with each parent. An older child may ask whether you will be moving out of your current home. Be honest with them if you do not know the answer but let them know that your decision will be based on what is best for them.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Your children will continue to have questions about your divorce and how it will affect them, and you may have your own questions about it. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will help you figure out the allocation of parental responsibilities as part of your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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How to Nurture Resilience in Your Children After DivorceAs a parent who decided to divorce, you may be concerned about how the divorce will emotionally affect your children. You know that they will be upset, but will the divorce cause long-lasting emotional trauma? The good news is that it is possible for children of divorce to become more resilient because of their experience, making them more capable of handling other hardships that may occur in their lives. There are several ways that you can create an environment that enables your child to build that resiliency:

  1. Healthy Communication: To understand how the divorce is affecting your children, you need to listen to what they say and watch how they behave. Encourage them to be open about their feelings without forcing them to talk when they are clearly not in the mood. When they do decide to talk, let them finish speaking without interjecting to correct them or add your own opinion. Resist your instinct to want to solve their problems for them or to reassure them that things are not so bad. The most important thing for you to do is to show sympathy towards their feelings and answer the questions that they ask.
  2. Creating Structure: Life will not be the same for your children as it used to be, but you can create a new normal that still supports them. Establish routines that incorporate familiar activities while adding new ones. Keep up traditions, such as holiday activities or special meals. Stay consistent with your parenting schedule so that your children can grow familiar with when they will spend time with each parent. Do not treat your children with gifts or special activities as a way to make up for the divorce. They need to settle into a normal routine.
  3. Preserving Connections: Your child’s relationships and activities outside of your home are some of the ways they may be able to cope with your divorce. Even if things have changed drastically at home, they can find relief in spending time with their friends and attending school. Relocating soon after a divorce takes those outlets away from them and may cause too much change at once. This should be one of your top considerations if you are debating whether to move your children to a new area following your divorce.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Co-parenting is one of the most important factors in raising resilient children. You need to be able to put your personal differences aside in order to make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. At Goostree Law Group, our St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorneys will help you create a parenting plan that fosters a healthy co-parenting relationship. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Be Aware of the Social Media Activity of Children of DivorceChildren of divorce are often unsure of who to talk to about their feelings because their most natural outlet – their parents – is at the source of their pain. Social media is an easy alternative for them, where they can express themselves and connect with friends. Divorced parents may believe that there is no harm in letting their children withdraw into their mobile devices. After all, parents know where the children are. However, children can still get themselves into trouble on social media and are more prone to making poor decisions when experiencing a traumatic event, such as their parents' divorce.

Potential Problems

Children often fail to understand that what they say and do on social media can have real-life consequences. Posting offensive or inappropriate content reflects poorly on them now and leaves a record that could hurt them in the future, such as when they apply to a college. Sharing too much about themselves makes them appear vulnerable to people who try to exploit confused children and teenagers, such as:

  • Sexual predators;
  • Online scammers;
  • Cyberbullies; and
  • People trying to indoctrinate others into an extreme belief system.

Solutions

As a divorced parent, you must protect your children from unhealthy online behavior while also respecting their need for social connections and independence. Prohibiting them from having social media accounts is difficult to enforce and will make them rebellious. Installing parental controls feels demeaning to older children and should be done only if the child has demonstrated that they cannot be responsible on their own. There are more effective ways to protect your children:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Four Advantages to Being a Single ParentPeople often think of being a single parent as a hardship that both parent and child must overcome. To be sure, it is optimal for children to grow up in a two-parent household. Being a single parent after divorce means no more sharing parental tasks when the children are with you. You have complete responsibility for the children during your parenting time. You will likely have a tighter budget because you are primarily relying on your own income. Your children may have a difficult time adjusting to living in a different home with each parent. You can help yourself through single parenthood by understanding that there are still some advantages:

  1. Your Home Can Be Less Hostile: A bad marriage puts stress on yourself and your children because there is frequent tension that prevents people from relaxing. Simple tasks can become daunting because they start an argument between you and your spouse. You and your co-parent will each be happier apart, which will create a healthier home for you and your children.
  2. Your Children Receive Your Full Attention: When in a bad marriage, your relationship with your spouse distracts you from your children and takes energy away from your parenting. Though you have more work as a single parent, you can focus more of your attention on your children when they are with you. This may eventually make parenting feel easier for you, and your children will definitely benefit from it.
  3. You Have More Control Over Your Parenting: You and your former spouse may have argued about how to raise your children. While it is important to maintain consistent parenting after divorce, you have more control over the specific rules and expectations in your household. You can choose how strict you are with your children’s bedtime, how often you will go out for meals, and what shows are appropriate for them to watch. Your co-parent is not there to undermine your rules.
  4. Your Children Become More Resilient: One of the keys to being a single parent is sharing some responsibility with your children. They can help you with certain household chores, such as washing dishes or taking out the trash. If you cannot afford to give them the same allowance, they may learn to save the money they receive or earn more money by helping neighbors. It is healthy to take on responsibility as a child, as long as it does not interfere with their education or ability to have a happy childhood.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

Being a successful single parent requires more planning and attention than when you were married. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a parenting plan that makes your job more manageable. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Comforting Children in New Home After DivorceChildren of divorce can have difficulty adjusting to living at a parent’s new home during scheduled parenting time. An unfamiliar house or apartment is a physical manifestation of the changes happening in a child’s life after divorce. The parent in the new home must create a familiar and comforting environment for the children. The other parent should try to put the children at ease about the new living environment. Both parents should cooperate to make a smoother transition, for the betterment of their children if not for each others’ sakes.

Preparations

Helping children adjust to a new parental home starts with the other parent at the primary home. Having two homes is an unfamiliar concept that likely makes the children nervous. It is also unavoidable as long as both sides have parenting time. Children can grow more comfortable with the concept and gain a sense of control by helping:

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