Q & A Divorce Talk: Children

7 Things To Say to Your Child When You Are Getting A Divorce

Q: My 10-yr-old has all these questions about why I’m divorcing her dad. I don’t know what to say. She texted me from her dad’s: “How did you decide to separate? WHY? If YOU tried to keep our family together, was it daddy?” I am really angry with her dad right now and blame him for so much, but it doesn’t seem right to tell her that. What do I say?

A: You are right not to tell your kid that you blame her dad. That would put her in between the two of you and she would feel like she has to pick sides. That’s not fair to her. Here are some things you can say:

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  1. Those are all really good questions

    If I were you, I’m sure I would have them too. It is very sad and confusing for kids when parents get divorced. And you may even feel angry too. All that is normal.

  2. There is no way to fix this

    You are not going to ever be able to fix this. Lots of kids want to fix their parent’s divorce, but they eventually learn that they cannot change what the grown-ups have done. I am sorry that it feels like you have no control over this big thing happening in your life, but that is the truth. You cannot control it. That is going to cause some big feelings.

  3. I will be here for for you

    I just want you to know that I love you very, very much.I will be with you while you feel all these feelings and I will try my best to answer what I can.

  4. Romantic relationships sometimes end

    Mom and Dad loved each other when we got married and we had many great years together. Sometimes people grow apart or change in ways that don’t work well anymore.We tried very hard to make things work, but after awhile, it hurt too much and for too long. We always tried to protect you from that.

  5. It’s not your fault

    You did not have anything to do with why Dad and I separated. This was all about me and him—and us not being able to resolve our conflicts. We really wished we could. We tried our very best. But some things are not solvable. I am sad about that.

  6. Blame will not make this better

    I see you are asking if it was because of Daddy. Honey, your relationship with your daddy is as important as it ever was. I don’t want any problem from my relationship with him to affect yours with him. He loves you and you love him, so just keep loving him as you always have.

  7. Let’s spend time together

    I see that you feel sad. Whenever you feel sad, please know that you can always come and talk to me or ask for a hug. We can play a game together or draw together, even write a book together about what all of this feels like. ◊◊◊

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