It’s true that life is a series of events, many of which often prompt significant changes in a particular person’s or family’s lifestyle. For instance, perhaps you recently told your children that you are getting divorced. Regardless of whether you or your spouse is the one to file the petition in an Illinois civil court, the situation will no doubt have a significant impact on your kids.
Children often experience stress and fears as they navigate life-changes associated with divorce. If you have several children, you may notice that each of them reacts differently to the situation. By reminding them that you love them and by building a strong support network right from the start, you can help them keep stress to a minimum and move on in life in as healthy a manner as possible.
Kids tend to worry about fault
As an adult, you are no doubt mature enough to realize certain things in life that your children may not be able to intellectually or emotionally process. For instance, if you and your spouse are divorcing due to irreconcilable differences, you understand that the situation is really no one’s fault. Your kids, on the other hand, might think they are to blame.
Many children in Illinois and elsewhere think they’re at fault when their parents divorce. Especially if your children have heard you and your spouse arguing over child-related issues, one or more of your kids might think something they did or said caused your marital problems. You can help them overcome such fears by verbally assuring them that they are not to blame.
Loyalty is also a main concern for most children
Divorce definitely prompts changes in children’s lives, one of which is the fact that both parents will no longer live under the same roof. For many kids, this sparks confusion as to where their loyalties should lie. Your children might worry that they have to choose between you and your ex.
If your co-parent actively tries to turn your kids against you, this can be a serious problem, perhaps even a legal one if his or her tactics involve disregarding an existing court order. You have rights, and it’s critical that you know where to seek support if your ex tries to undermine those rights or impede your relationship with your children.
Children don’t want their parents to hate each other
In a perfect world, all parents would get along and all marriages would last a lifetime. The reality is quite different, however. In fact, marital problems or legal issues can often ignite contention between parents. This can cause high levels of stress for children who may worry that their parents hate each other.
You can help your kids cope by explaining that you and your ex love them very much and want them to continue to have active, loving relationships with both of you. By focusing on them as a priority, you can assure your children that the problems you and their co-parent have as adults will not stop you from working together to provide for their needs.