Marital problems are tough to process, even before considering how these issues will impact your children. Parents may consider keeping everything from the children for as long as possible. If not, they may still struggle to decide just how much information to share. Your instinct is to always protect your kids, which can compound your dilemma.
Your children may already sense that something is off between you and your spouse. How do you balance what you want them to know and what you need them to know? In every case, deciding whether to tell your kids about marital issues requires careful consideration.
What To Tell Your Kids
Although oversharing is not recommended at this time, it’s crucial for you to be honest with your children. When you lie and tell them everything is fine, you will risk confusing them in the future. If they ask any questions, try to answer them in the simplest terms possible.
Before talking about marital problems, let your kids know that none of this is their fault. You do not want them blaming themselves for what their parents may be going through. Make sure to tell them you and your spouse love them, and always will.
Most importantly, do not describe your marital issues in terms of blaming your spouse. You may feel as though your spouse is responsible for the failing marriage, but now is not the time to discuss those feelings in front of the children. Admit that you are having difficulties in your marriage, but refrain from asking the kids to choose sides.
Why Your Kids Need To Hear From You
Struggling couples often look at the downside of oversharing and wish to protect their children at all costs. After all, they will learn soon enough about your marital issues. There, of course, is always a chance that you too will hold out hope that everything will be okay before a divorce is finalized.
Believing this, though, assumes your kids remain oblivious to the ongoing conflict at home. They almost certainly will notice that something is amiss. If you refrain from telling them something, their minds will typically fill in the blanks. It’s suggested to sit and talk with them long before they choose to blame themselves.
When And How To Share Marital Problems
These moments in time will be important steps in your relationships. If you have more than one child, it’s recommended that you tell them together. You might have the urge to speak to them one-on-one, but this leaves too much possibility for mixed messages. Make sure all of your children receive the same information.
Make sure to talk to your children at a time when they can focus. Telling them in passing or right before bedtime can suggest to them that this information is not that important. Set aside any devices or distractions, and make sure your children do the same. Have plenty of time set aside for this conversation, and be open to their asking questions.
Ideally, you will have this talk with them while your spouse is by your side. Even during times of conflict, it’s important for your children to see their parents acting as a team. Put them first in this situation, as children should never feel like casualties of divorce.
There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.