One of the issues that comes up in divorce cases where children are involved is what should the parents do about telling their children what is going on. Anyone who has a child will tell you that children are very perceptive and can tell when their parents are unhappy and arguing. However, the amount of information the parents should disclose to their children depends on the child’s age and level of maturity. Today’s Parent published and article by John Hoffman with addressed the issue of what parents should consider when telling their children about their pending divorce. In that article they looked at some of the developmental issues parents will face depending on how old the child is. For instance, children who are between the ages of 1 to 5 are at a particularly early stage in their development and can have setbacks if there are feelings of guilt or insecurity when a parent leaves the household. In older children signs that they are having difficulty adjusting may be easier to detect such as acting out or getting into trouble at the home or school. In either instance, whether a pre-school age child or older the key is to make every effort to keep the environment as stable and consistent as possible. Good parenting is difficult during these troubling and rocky times during the end of a relationship.
Some tips for Talking to Children About Divorce Include:
- Give a lot of thought to the setting and circumstances when you break the news to them.
- Gather the whole family and tell everyone at the same time
- Don’t assume how children will react and let them feel all the feelings.
- When the decision to end the marriage is made try not to prolong it.
- Be supportive of painful reactions and answer difficult questions honestly
It’s important to think out a plan and present a united front. Even though you won’t be moving forward as a couple you will continue to move forward as parents. There isn’t a method that is set in stone that tell you how to handle every situation that will arise. As a law firm specializing in divorce, child custody, child support and modifications we guide our clients through these difficult issues throughout their case. Our firm represents clients in the Douglasville, Atlanta and Marietta area. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.