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How to talk to you kids about your divorce

Children naturally will have a lot of questions when their parents tell them they are getting a divorce. Finding out that one of their parents will not be around as much anymore can be very confusing and scary, and they may seek reassurance that they are still loved and protected, despite the divorce.

A mother recently shared a list of questions her son asked her about her divorce, and the responses she gave. Perhaps not all parents reading this will agree with her approach, but this list provides a starting point for parents uncertain how to talk about their divorce with their kids.

  • Why did Daddy (or Mommy) leave? Daddy moved out because he and I were not getting along, and could not agree on important things. It was not about anything you did, and he was not leaving you.
  • Do you miss Daddy (or Mommy)? When I think about happy memories from the past, I sometimes miss those times.
  • When did you stop being in love? There was not a particular day or event. People fall in and out of love over time. But both of your parents will always love you, no matter what.
  • Could Daddy (or Mommy) come home? No, he and I agree that it would be best if he does not live here anymore.

Some of these answers may frustrate the children at first, but age-appropriate honesty can help the kids come to terms with what is happening, without giving them false hopes of a reconciliation. They can then begin to adjust to the fact that their parents no longer live together.

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