kids and divorce

Rita - posted on 02/06/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl, i'm currently trying to get my divorce as well which means the father is no longer in the picture....my only concer is the kids and the way this whole mess is affecting them. How do i explain to them that 'daddy' will never really come home like he used to? Its so so exausting sometimes and i just try and change the subject as quick as i can after telling them that 'daddy' is far far away working hard and he has no time to come home but he'll call soon. I'm not sure if this is enough or how can i deal with this. How long will it take really for them to understand? Its only been 3 months since he left.

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Miriam - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hi there, sorry to hear that, I know it's a tough time.  I am not an expert, but I just wanted to share with you a study I was lucky enough to learn about which researched the effects that separation had on children for the purpose of whether or not to include children in a specially controlled family counselling process during separation.  The outcome showed that it benefited children to be involved in this process (and parents) in a family environment and that a positive outcome for the children was achieved when they felt and could see that there was still unity between the parents, whether that was demonstrated through talking, counselling, joint decisions about schooling, discipline or anything at all, this made them feel a lot better and it also helped the parents too.  For more google “child inclusive counselling”.



I've also recently separated with my husband and I have two boys 5 and 2.  My separation didn’t happen overnight, we were working towards a separation for some time before we actually moved into separate houses so maybe it wasn’t so bad, but it was still difficult.  At times, I felt extremely sad and I found it tough to answer certain questions from my children, as well as even deal with them when I was really sad.  Not to mention the adjustment to solo parenting.  But I tried to remember the research study which showed that parents found it difficult to nurture their children during these times because they were so busy trying to take care of themselves and their own turmoil, they struggled to meet the needs of their children as well as they might usually.  I tried to remember this when I felt down, it comforted me to be reminded that this is a process and everything I’m feeling is normal, other people go through it, we can only try our hardest, we’re all only human, time will heal.



My eldest son has the understanding that daddy lives down the road, we live here and that’s just the way it is.  Because I am fine about it, he seems fine about it.  I just say daddy will see you tomorrow, or the next day and he just says “ok” and seems to be completely unaffected.  My youngest son asks me a hundred times a day where is daddy, and it’s been four months.  I keep repeating the same thing and he says “why” and I tell him because that’s where daddy lives, we live here and daddy lives there, that’s just the way we live.  “oh,” he says and that’s it.  I strongly believe that because I am ok about it, they are ok.  I’ve never ever used the word “separation” with them,  I’ve never talked about not loving their daddy or him not loving me, because I still do love him, and I never talk about the details of what went down (though sometimes I feel like it!) because they’d never understand all elements of it.



I’m not sure if your husband is still seeing the kids regularly, if not I agree it might be hard to explain why he’s not around at all.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing the subject, or giving a very basic view, there’s no way they could understand anything else, other than the fact that things change all the time in life and we have to learn to adjust to change.   All the best for the future.



 

Tracy - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hi there, i split up with my husband two years ago and i have four children with him. It was really hard in the beginning to make them understand why he didnt live with us anymore. I told them that daddy still loved them but mummy and daddy didnt love each other anymore which is why we wernt together. My ex sees the children once a week and this has helped.



Hope this helps



Tracy

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