One of the most difficult parts of a divorce is the reality of explaining it to the children. The divorce process is difficult for everyone involved in it, particularly for a child who has no fault in the matter. Kenny Leigh and Associates is a men only family law firm with experience in men only child custody cases. Kenny Leigh and Associates has six offices serving Jacksonville, Gainesville, Fleming Island, Daytona and Boca Raton, and Fort Walton Beach in both the North Florida and South Florida areas.
Each Case is Unique
While thousands of children each year have to experience the divorce of their parents, it is a different and intense experience for every child who goes through this experience. Your help is a critical component in making sure this experience is as pleasant as is reasonably possible. Your child's age and individual personality are going to have an impact on how he or she reacts to the divorce. The individual circumstances will also play a role in the adjustment process.
There is no such thing as a "typical" divorce or a "typical" breaking up of the family unit. In the same way that every family is a unique one, by the same token every process of separation is equally unique.
This is Traumatic for Everyone
Getting a divorce is inevitably going to impact the children involved in it, just as it affects the adults. The emotions involved can run the gamut from anger, frustration, sadness to anger, and even worrying. However, it is possible for kids to cope reasonably well with the stress of the divorce and how the situation gets resolved. But there is a lot of responsibility on the part of the adults involved to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Children have a tendency to be self-centered, so it can be difficult for them to understand that the process of divorce is also affecting you and your former spouse with the same level of emotional strain. A child can feel as if they are alone in what they are feeling, and, in some cases, the child can even assume that they are somehow to blame for the divorce or the problems that have caused the marriage to break down. It is important for the child to know that it is not their fault.
Coming Out With the News
The choice to go through with a divorce can be a long and difficult one, and it is not one that should involve your children's direct input. Seeking out their support may be tempting, and their needs should definitely factor into the process of making your decision. But, ultimately, this is a choice that should be transparent to them and absolute when you decide to go through with it. This is not easy news to break, and it is a rare child who does not try to sway the decision.
This needs to be presented by both of the parents as a mutual decision to live apart. As such, both parents need to be in the room to deliver the news to the children. Leaving out any kind of blaming, as well as feelings of anger and guilt, is something you will need to do as much as you can. One way to leave as much emotion out of the revelation as you can is to practice delivering the news beforehand.
Granted, you need to tailor the discussion about the divorce to your child's age, level of maturity and individual temperament. At the same time, it also needs to be laid out in absolute terms that the divorce is between mom and dad and the child has no fault in the matter. Repeatedly providing reassurance that the child is not at fault is crucial because many children will blame themselves for the divorce.
Staying With the Child
Despite the divorce process, it is important that both the parents stay involved with their children's lives. The relationship between parent and child should be a nurturing one, and should never involve placing blame on the other former spouse. Further, do not interrupt a child's routine more than is absolutely necessary. It is important to reinforce stability at all times.
The divorce process is a traumatic and emotional time. Fortunately, you can make it reasonable. Kenny Leigh and Associates is a men only family law firm with experience in men only child custody cases. Kenny Leigh and Associates has six offices serving Jacksonville, Gainesville, Fleming Island, Daytona and Boca Raton, and Fort Walton Beach in both the North Florida and South Florida areas.