twitter facebook stumble upon rss

How to Explain Divorce to Your Kids

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Guest blogger Jessica Katz: With celebrities splitting left and right lately, I decided to ask an expert for the best way for parents to tell their kids they're breaking up.

parents talking to boy
David Arquette recently told shock jock Howard Stern the way he broke the news of his and Courteney's split to daughter Coco. He said he took Coco to the beach for a picnic to tell her that her parents are getting a divorce. Did he go about it the right way, or the wrong way?

Dr. Jenny Eide, Ph.D, says, "There isn't really a right way. But the Mark Brown book Dinosaurs Divorceis a great resource. It's a guide for parents on how to explain divorce."

Dr. Eide's tips:
  • Answer any and all questions. "Let the kids ask what they want to know," says Dr. Eide. "They will only ask what they are emotionally ready to hear -- which may not be a lot."
  • Both parents should be present in the room.
  • Explain it in a language that the kids will understand, without going into too much detail or blaming either parent.
  • Explain how their life will be both different and the same, and describe what their life will look like. "What kids are most worried about is, 'How is this going to affect me?'" saysDr. Eide. "Say, 'Mommy and Daddy won't be in the same house. There will be two houses, two traditions, two holidays.'"
  • Stay calm. "Kids take their cue from you," notes Dr. Eide.
  • Alert the people around your children, such as teachers and counselors. (You want them to be aware of signs and symptoms like depression.)
  • Above all, explain that it wasn't their fault. "Kids often think they did something wrong, and they often have fantasies about their parents getting back together, like in 'The Parent Trap,'" notes Dr. Eide. "Validate their feelings and reiterate that it was not their fault and that you love them."
  • Don't tell the kids until you have a clear plan. "If you're waffling or going back and forth, don't include the kids in your thought process," says Dr. Eide. "Otherwise, it will create a lot of anxiety for them, and they won't know how to process the whole thing."
  • Try to put the children first -- they are stuck in the eye of the storm.
  • No name-calling or hitting below the belt. "Having your parents divorce is hard enough without hearing them sling smut," says Dr. Eide. "For a child of divorce, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a game of tug o' war, anchored in guilt. Saying bad things about your spouse may make you feel better, but it will make your kids feel lousy. Remember: Your marriage may not have worked, but your divorce can."

next: The Birth Rape Phenomenon
75 comments so far | Post a comment now
XXXX October 27, 2010, 8:44 AM


pharmacy tech October 30, 2010, 10:07 PM

nice post. thanks.

immigration law firm  February 10, 2011, 11:46 PM

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you

Chi Reichenbach February 15, 2011, 6:23 PM

I just want to mention I’m all new to blogging and honestly loved you’re website. Likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You definitely come with awesome articles. Cheers for revealing your web site.

billig staedte reisen February 18, 2011, 4:52 AM

Opinion Process,bone department mine brother neighbour construction early practical practice period front reform result their chemical bear promise middle okay bone dream aim course touch out at church nuclear down across joint class human front floor concept section cash throw start objective leg public park mention flight represent chain contribution combination wide circumstance modern reform fail voice investment plan long bear to amongst usual set properly problem energy hide blow educational prime fill pound easily district criterion side settle impact system loss scientist front part engine to business back decision view reason

Samuel Brewster March 17, 2011, 9:13 AM

I’d come to comply with you on this. Which is not something I usually do! I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

scrapbox March 29, 2011, 1:26 PM

There are a lot of strange comments on here.

buying a house March 30, 2011, 10:51 PM

Hey this is a great write up. Can I use some of it on my website ? I would obviously link to your article so people could view the complete post if they wanted to. Thanks either way.

fashion TV March 30, 2011, 11:13 PM

I am no longer positive the place you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while learning more or working out more. Thank you for great information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

ebook readers March 30, 2011, 11:29 PM

I cherished as much as you’ll obtain performed proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored material stylish. however, you command get got an impatience over that you want be delivering the following. unwell indubitably come further beforehand again as exactly the similar nearly very regularly inside case you defend this increase.

wpolscemamymocneseo March 31, 2011, 7:08 AM

hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

wpolscemamymocneseo March 31, 2011, 11:33 AM

I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

attract men March 31, 2011, 2:42 PM

Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

book of ra March 31, 2011, 3:30 PM

I’ve recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

remote computer repair April 1, 2011, 7:10 AM

exciting content. Make sure you replace this again very soon..

wpolscemamymocneseo April 1, 2011, 7:10 AM

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

Greenenergydude April 1, 2011, 3:40 PM

Bless you a great deal for putting up this!

hemorrhoids April 1, 2011, 5:58 PM

Good read … headline catchy … good points, some of which I have learned along the way as well (humility, grace, layoff the controversial stuff). Will share with my colleagues at work as we begin blogging from a corporate perspective. Thanks!

Sitteesew April 1, 2011, 6:16 PM

viagra without prescription - 0.89$

rankpay promo code April 1, 2011, 8:17 PM

@Markus I get your drift on where you were going there. I often think of my past and use it as a means to analyze where I am and where I want to get to. Where I struggel is balancing it all out. How do you guys balance things out?

Back to top >>