As Illinois parents preparing to split, you have a lot of questions relating to your child. How do you break the news to them? Is there a right time and place? Is there a right way to do it? How involved should your child be, anyway?
In this information age, it is too easy to feel like you are doing too much or not enough. But finding what works is a process that all parents must go through.
Gauging your child’s potential reaction
Psychology Today points out that children handle divorce in different ways. Factors affecting how your child takes news of divorce include their age, maturity and personality. Some children need more time to process and cope. Others may react in an emotionally or physically violent way. Others still may turn inward and keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves. You know your child best. Thus, it is up to you to take the tips you receive and decide which sounds the most effective.
Deciding how much to tell them
This should also influence how involved your child is. Some parents want to keep all information of the divorce away from their kid. Perhaps this would work best for you, too. Experts often suggest at least some degree of transparency, though. For example, you should let your child know which parent intends to move out. If you have an idea of what the visitation schedule will look like, it does not hurt to share that. Taking away some of the element of surprise can also help remove some of your child’s fear. This should remain a top priority for you, along with ensuring they do not self-blame over the split.