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divorce

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Subject: how to tell the kids about separation? Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:24:06

my husband and i separated about 3 weeks ago. he chilishly moved his 24 year old son into our house soon after i told him the marriage was over which meant we could not discuss anything regarding the separation or the well being of the children. however, i put all my energy into researching and reading a book cover to cover on children & divorce and as this was my only real concern i wanted to make sure that i did everything to the best that i could for them. my eldest daughter is just 6, my middle boy is almost 4 and i have a 17 month baby. they are all that matter to me and my children have been absolutely fantastic. if i\'d known i could have achieved this with them i would have left my husband sooner. once id read all the dos and donts on how to handle children i spoke to them separately because of the age difference and ability to understand. then i spoke to them together so they knew they had all been told the same and could talk to each other about it. i explained that their daddy would be moving into another house and that they would now have 2 homes and not just 1. i explained that they would remain in the house with me but would see their daddy all the time. i explained that they would be able to stay overnight with him and could phone him anytime they wanted. i also told them that we were still a family but just with 2 homes instead of 1. i explained that they still had a mummy and a daddy and that we would both see them all the time and that we would both still be looking after them right up until they are grown up into big people. i told them they could take some toys etc to keep over there. i told them that the decision to live apart was a joint desicion (even though it wasnt) and that it was not a decision that children can make and they should not think that decision to live apart had anything to do with them. remind them that it was because of them that mummy and daddy stayed together because both of you wanted to live with your children. tell them that you will not be getting re-married. explain that divorce is when you get un-married. and tell them it is not their job or responsibility to try to get you back together because that is not going to happen. let them know that the parent who moves out is not leaving them but will continue to be their parent. explain that people are a bit like a jigsaw. if 2 pieces dont fit then no amount of pushing will make it fit, infact too much pushing will make it break. let them know that they may feel sad and want to cry at times and that is ok. they may feel angry or confused and thats ok too. tell them that what ever they feel is normal and ok, even if they feel sad when you seem happy and tell them they can talk about those feelings to you any time, again even if you feel differently. tell them they must talk about how they are feeling in order to deal with them. you must look for signs, often subtle and easily missed and just ask them if they are ok and what are they thinking about. if they dont want to talk about it then respect that but suggest that you will talk to them about what they are thinking later that day, maybe in bed when you can cuddle up close and take time. best not to tell them until you are happy for others to find out as they may want to talk about it to their friends. tell them this is ok too and let them know when you have told the school & teachers so they know its not a secret and no need to be embarrassed to mention it. there are some lovely childrens books on divorce with stories etc and we have found them beneficial. i made a point of letting the children know as soon as my husband found a house and we agreed to all go together to look round it which was a bit upsetting as the children were all excited running around and discovering their new home in their eyes but it was lovely to see them happy rather than sad about it. i got to see the house and help them choose which room they would sleep in and it was comforting for me as i knew exactly where they were. it also meant the house was not strange to them when they first stayed over which we had arranged on the same weekend their daddy moved in so it was a new experience for them all together rather than just them. i have showed nothing but excitement for them about the new house and been very positive with them every time they have gone to visit so they dont worry about leaving me on my own. children shouldnt have to worry about their parents and should be allowed to love and enjoy being with both separately. there should be no conflict in ear shot of the children as this damages them and causes much sadness & disrespect to them and no messages passed via the child. i also put some familiar bits like pictures from our house and stools from our kitchen in the other house and quickly filled the empty wardrobes at home before they sensed the \'emptyness\'. they have photos of their daddy in the kitchen etc. show lots of love and put all your attention into your daughter and show her that as her parents you are united. good idea to keep similar routines in both houses. my husband has my children stay over on a friday, saturday & sunday night returning to school on monday morning. this is on alternate weekends only. on the weekends he doesnt have them he has them two consecutive school nights so he is involved in homework etc & proper parenting as opposed to being a weekend dad only. the first 2 weeks apart your daughter should see her daddy every day if possible even if just for a few minutes and should phone every morning and night until she is used to her daddy not being there in the house. you should explain any changes in plans to your daughter as far in advance as possible and let her know when she will be staying with her dad overnight by using a calender that allows her to \'see\' how long it is until she sees him. good luck.

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55empire

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:24:49

Telling the kids is always a sensitive topic. Sad part is, there is no way you cannot hurt them, although you can minimise the pain by saying the right things and assuring them that they will always be loved and cared for. You and your husband are thinking about separation? So is divorce on the cards or do you and your husband plan to seek counselling? If it is just separation, it usually keeps the child guessing whether or not his/her mom dad will get back together eventually or not. If it is divorce, it is usually a shock for the child but at least the child knows that there is getting back together. No matter what your situation is, try to be honest with your child. Tell your daughter know about her future living arrangements as soon as you and your husband decide on it. This will help to lessen her anxiety levels. This will be a tough time janet…but the good thing is that you and your husband are both ready to talk about it to make it alright for your little girl

Teadrinker

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:39:18

I don\'t think you can avoid hurting your d over the breakup. But it might be that some of her reactions to it won\'t be immediate. She might seem fine at first, ask questions later, get upset more about it in later years, etc. I would make sure your conversation with her (preferably you and your h together and at a time when she hasn\'t got school the next day, such as a school holiday) includes telling her you both love her, you no longer love each other or are no longer happy being together, she will continue to live in the same house (if that\'s true) and go to the same school and have the same friends but mummy/daddy won\'t live there anymore and will see her a lot. Tell her where the non-resident parent will live and when she will see them. Keep it simple and be prepared to answer questions about it as they arise. Tell her school in case she gets upset there or needs support there. At such a young age she might say things which seem a bit odd, like \"will I still have my toys?\" and won\'t understand it like an adult would. Our son suspected nothing and nor did I because the first I knew of my ex leaving was the day he told me he was having an affair and was leaving! Our son was much older - 12 when we separated - and I tried to do the above with him but his dad kept angrily denying it that we were splitting up. He thought our son could just get used to dad not being there, away \"for work\" , without telling him the real reason. I ended up telling him on my own, though this still resulted in ex denying it all afterwards, so I felt it necessary to mention divorce as otherwise our son wouldn\'t have known we\'d split up. He was very upset about it for about a year. It\'s hard to imagine how anyone could choose to inflict such pain on their child as I saw our son experience, and personally I would have avoided divorce at all cost. Then he began to come to terms with it and got on fine with his dad and then with his dad\'s gf (not the OW) and now (aged 16) is fine about it, happily attended his dad\'s wedding this year, likes the new wife and thinks how things are now are best and wouldn\'t want to change it. For me, it\'s been hell and still is totally crap. I hope it works out for you and your d.

divorce

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:24:06

my husband and i separated about 3 weeks ago. he chilishly moved his 24 year old son into our house soon after i told him the marriage was over which meant we could not discuss anything regarding the separation or the well being of the children. however, i put all my energy into researching and reading a book cover to cover on children & divorce and as this was my only real concern i wanted to make sure that i did everything to the best that i could for them. my eldest daughter is just 6, my middle boy is almost 4 and i have a 17 month baby. they are all that matter to me and my children have been absolutely fantastic. if i\'d known i could have achieved this with them i would have left my husband sooner. once id read all the dos and donts on how to handle children i spoke to them separately because of the age difference and ability to understand. then i spoke to them together so they knew they had all been told the same and could talk to each other about it. i explained that their daddy would be moving into another house and that they would now have 2 homes and not just 1. i explained that they would remain in the house with me but would see their daddy all the time. i explained that they would be able to stay overnight with him and could phone him anytime they wanted. i also told them that we were still a family but just with 2 homes instead of 1. i explained that they still had a mummy and a daddy and that we would both see them all the time and that we would both still be looking after them right up until they are grown up into big people. i told them they could take some toys etc to keep over there. i told them that the decision to live apart was a joint desicion (even though it wasnt) and that it was not a decision that children can make and they should not think that decision to live apart had anything to do with them. remind them that it was because of them that mummy and daddy stayed together because both of you wanted to live with your children. tell them that you will not be getting re-married. explain that divorce is when you get un-married. and tell them it is not their job or responsibility to try to get you back together because that is not going to happen. let them know that the parent who moves out is not leaving them but will continue to be their parent. explain that people are a bit like a jigsaw. if 2 pieces dont fit then no amount of pushing will make it fit, infact too much pushing will make it break. let them know that they may feel sad and want to cry at times and that is ok. they may feel angry or confused and thats ok too. tell them that what ever they feel is normal and ok, even if they feel sad when you seem happy and tell them they can talk about those feelings to you any time, again even if you feel differently. tell them they must talk about how they are feeling in order to deal with them. you must look for signs, often subtle and easily missed and just ask them if they are ok and what are they thinking about. if they dont want to talk about it then respect that but suggest that you will talk to them about what they are thinking later that day, maybe in bed when you can cuddle up close and take time. best not to tell them until you are happy for others to find out as they may want to talk about it to their friends. tell them this is ok too and let them know when you have told the school & teachers so they know its not a secret and no need to be embarrassed to mention it. there are some lovely childrens books on divorce with stories etc and we have found them beneficial. i made a point of letting the children know as soon as my husband found a house and we agreed to all go together to look round it which was a bit upsetting as the children were all excited running around and discovering their new home in their eyes but it was lovely to see them happy rather than sad about it. i got to see the house and help them choose which room they would sleep in and it was comforting for me as i knew exactly where they were. it also meant the house was not strange to them when they first stayed over which we had arranged on the same weekend their daddy moved in so it was a new experience for them all together rather than just them. i have showed nothing but excitement for them about the new house and been very positive with them every time they have gone to visit so they dont worry about leaving me on my own. children shouldnt have to worry about their parents and should be allowed to love and enjoy being with both separately. there should be no conflict in ear shot of the children as this damages them and causes much sadness & disrespect to them and no messages passed via the child. i also put some familiar bits like pictures from our house and stools from our kitchen in the other house and quickly filled the empty wardrobes at home before they sensed the \'emptyness\'. they have photos of their daddy in the kitchen etc. show lots of love and put all your attention into your daughter and show her that as her parents you are united. good idea to keep similar routines in both houses. my husband has my children stay over on a friday, saturday & sunday night returning to school on monday morning. this is on alternate weekends only. on the weekends he doesnt have them he has them two consecutive school nights so he is involved in homework etc & proper parenting as opposed to being a weekend dad only. the first 2 weeks apart your daughter should see her daddy every day if possible even if just for a few minutes and should phone every morning and night until she is used to her daddy not being there in the house. you should explain any changes in plans to your daughter as far in advance as possible and let her know when she will be staying with her dad overnight by using a calender that allows her to \'see\' how long it is until she sees him. good luck.
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