One thing that many parents get wrong when going through a divorce is disclosing too much information to their kids. I am referring mainly to details involving the shortcomings of the other parent.
For many of the same reasons as to why you should not criticize the other parent, disclosing the sins of the other parent to the kids creates significant anxiety for them. Plus, disclosing information to the kids when they are not emotionally ready to receive it can cause even more harm.
A good strategy for dealing with questions from the kids is to defer to the other parent. Simply say, “You may want to ask your father/mother about that.” This gives the other parent the opportunity to get involved in the discussion and respects the relationship they have with their child(ren).
Our Lord has some great advice when it comes to disclosing information:
“For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible, nothing is secret except to come to light.” – Mark 4:22
What Jesus is urging us to understand is that nothing will remain secret forever. He is inviting you to trust Him to determine when information is to be revealed. His timing is perfect, and if we decide to take matters into our own hands, we could very well be derailing our Lord’s plans.
Helping children cope with your divorce is one of the biggest challenges you will face. In my blog article, Essential Keys to Recovering from Divorce: Your Kids, I address five other strategies for helping your kids, including: if you should acknowledge your grief and sadness, when to get them involved in major decisions, and why being consistent and predictable is so important. Our kids did not ask for divorce to be thrust into their lives. It is up to us as parents to help them in every way to cope and heal from it.
Are you facing questions from your kids about their other parent’s behavior? How did you handle it? How did they receive it? Anything you would do differently? Please share your thoughts below.