Illinois parents like you have a lot to handle when approaching divorce. One of your primary concerns is your child. You have to deal with the behind-the-scenes issues like child custody and support. But there is more to it than that.
One of the biggest initial hurdles you will face is breaking the news to your child. How do you tell them about the divorce? Is there any way to talk about divorce that mitigates potential damage?
Work with and not against your co-parent
Psychology Today discusses ways in which you can break the news of divorce to your kid. Unfortunately, there is no way to broach the topic and guarantee it will go well. There is no way to rid divorce of all negativity. The way your child reacts depends in part on them and their personality. But how you present the information can go a long way in damage control.
First, present a unified front with your partner. Do not talk to your child when you are angry with each other. They will pick up on this. Get on the same page. Rehearse your discussion beforehand. Know what information you will leave out. Your child should not be privy to every detail, after all.
Provide your child with information
At the same time, provide them with a decent amount of information. Uncertainty is often one of the scariest parts of divorce. Let them know what might change. Let them know what may stay the same. Tell them which parent will move out. The less there is that comes as a surprise, the less uncertainty your child may feel.
Finally, ensure that your child knows none of this is their fault. Children often internalize guilt and blame. Repeat that you love them and they are not to blame as many times as you feel necessary.