Divorce is an emotionally strenuous process for parents and children alike. As parents, it is our instinct to want to protect our children from harm. During the divorce process, this often leads to parents inadvertently giving their children false hope about reconciliation or lying about how they are truly feeling.
However, despite these instincts to shield children, the best policy is often to simply tell the truth.
Of course, this does not mean using your child as your personal therapist and detailing all of the reasons your divorce is stressing you out — this is extremely unhealthy for everyone involved. However, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you are upset when a child asks you what’s wrong. Rather than saying “nothing,” simply thank the child for noticing you are feeling bad and reassure him or her that you will feel better.
Take into account your kids’ emotional growth
Lying to your children and saying there is nothing wrong can confuse them, especially when they are still young and learning how to interpret the way others are feeling. It might cause them to feel that if nothing is wrong with their parent, then something might be wrong with them. This may result in long-term emotional damage.
It’s also unwise to give children false hope that you and your spouse will ever get back together, especially if your marriage is irreversibly broken. Once they realize it will never happen, they will be far more hurt than they would have been had you given them the truth to begin with, as they might feel betrayed by your dishonesty. It might not be easy, but sitting down with your spouse and your children to talk about your divorce is a pivotal step in helping kids cope with what is going to happen in the near and distant future.
For the strong legal guidance you need during your divorce, contact the skilled Tampa Bay family law attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.