A Guest Post by Ben Stich The last thing divorced or separated parents want is for their kids to be hurt by their break-up any more than necessary. There is nothing worse for a parent than to see their child in pain. Yet, it is almost inevitable that the kids will experience some level of pain, disappointment and confusion. Human nature being what it is, it is normal for divorced parents to have difficulty tolerating their children’s distress. As a result, some conversations between an anxious soon-to-be divorced mother and her upset son go something like this: Parent: What’s wrong, honey? Son: Why do you have to get divorced? I hate it! Parent: It’s going to be, OK. Son: (Sniffling). But, but… Parent: Don’t worry, everything will be OK. Son: OK, Mommy. At first blush, it seems like this mother did a nice job of reassuring her child, right? No!
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT Children are affected by divorce differently at different ages and in reaction to differing circumstances in their lives. But one thing’s for certain, they need to be part of ongoing dialogue about your divorce before, during and long after so they feel connected to you, safe, secure and loved. What should you discuss with your child – and how? Here are some important concepts and strategies to keep in mind as you share parent/child conversations about life in a family affected by divorce or separation. • Be sure to answer questions honestly but age-appropriately. Don’t discuss adult material with your children, even teens, as temping as it may be. Use friends as confidants, not your children. • Be compassionate and keep an optimistic perspective. "Things may be difficult now, but they will get better. We’ll take things one day at a time. Change may seem frightening