Divorce is a touchy subject to talk about with your kids. As a parent, you want to protect kids from the harshness of divorce. But, sometimes they ask you tough questions that might make you uncomfortable.
Recently, I saw an article on MSN about a woman who wrote about her ex who cheated on her and broke up with her on their anniversary while they were on vacation.
And this got us thinking about having tough conversations with your kids about the reasons of your divorce – whether it’s cheating, gambling, addictions, lying – whatever the reason. Do you tell your kids? If you do, what do you tell them? Your kids will ask you why you’re divorcing. It’s a natural question. They want to find meaning in the chaos. What would you do if they ask, “Did someone cheat.? “Is it because mom drinks too much?” “Is it because dad lost his job?” With teens, it’s harder to hide the truth.
If you want to have the talk, here’s what I suggest:
- Think before you talk. Know what you want to say.
- Ask what they mean by “cheating”, “drinking”, “addiction"? You can't assume that your and their definitions are the same.
- Correct any misunderstandings
- Answer question factually without blame. Take your feelings out of it.
If don’t want to tell your kids, here are my tips:
- Acknowledge their curiosity. You can say something like, “I know you what to know what happened between your mom and me, your dad and me. But, those reasons stay between us."
- It’s not your fault. The fault is ours.
- Your mom/dad and I don’t love each other the way we should to have a successful marriage.
I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me. You can find my on my Facebook page: Blanca Cobb-Body Language Expert. While you’re there, give my page a “like” and write a message on my timeline.