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How do you prepare young children for divorce?

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Old 08-08-2008, 02:36 PM   #1
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How do you prepare young children for divorce?

I have been married for 10 years and have 2 children, 5 and almost 8. I want to get divorced. The children know that we have problems and ask why we don't talk much to each other. I have tried to explain that sometimes people don't get along and it is better for everybody if the parents don't live together. I notice that my kids, especially the older one, has anxiety over this. He is a thumb sucker and lately his thumb is constantly in his mouth, day and night.
I have also been bringing up their class mates whose parents are divorced and said that it is not unusual that kids live some days with mom and some days with dad. Does anybody has experience with divorce and how to make it the least difficult for the kids?

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Old 08-08-2008, 06:55 PM   #2
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Re: How do you prepare young children for divorce?

There is no way that you can't make this difficult for them other than to not divorce. I don't know if your situation, but unless you are being abused physically or something to that regard, it is best to evaluate yourself and how to improcve your marriage....? Try to not to make divorce seem normal to your children because you don't want them to grow up thinking it is okay, and for them to be divorced as adults as well. This will probably cause great anxiety and problems in your childrens lives, especially as they continue to grow. They are more likely to act out, experiement, etc. They will be confused when going back and forth between mom and dads house and dealing with moms new boyfreind and dads new girlfreind and if any of your decide to marry and have more children creates much havoc in childrens lives.......

Old 08-09-2008, 12:06 AM   #3
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Re: How do you prepare young children for divorce?

Thanks, Alexa. We have evaluated our marriage and it just doesn't work. My husband is verbally abusive and talking to him and going to counseling hasn't helped. I don't want to put up with being put down any more and it is not good for the kids to see their mother put down. I am also not a very good mom since I am so miserable most of the time. But, I agree, kids shouldn't see divorce as something normal, it is an extreme step you have to take in order to get peace in your life and your dignity back.

Old 08-15-2008, 06:02 AM   #4
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Re: How do you prepare young children for divorce?

im a child of divorced parents. im 23 now. i was 12 when my parents divorced. its upsetting first but the kids eventually get over it once a routine is set in. the problem with my parents is they argued after the divorce. obviously you will still be apart of each others lives as you will always have something in common and thats your children so please for the sake of your kids try to get along. attend parent teacher interviews together and school concerts etc. i guess after my parents divorced i would of loved for all of us to hang out occasionally, for mum to invite dad in for a coffee and vice versa but that didnt happen. even at school concerts growing up, my parents were always on the opposite side of the room. its upsetting. i think a divorce is a good thing if things arent all that good in the home because its not healthy for the kids but it helps the kids if both parents can remain on good terms especially for the kids when its their birthdays and stuff. lol, i know im rambling but im just trying to give the childs point of view.

a women i work with just got a divorce a few months ago. her kids are 12 and 9 and her 9 year old was really upset and i asked her last week how her kids are coping now and she said really good. they seem to be over the divorce. their father is working interstate for the year but they have regular phone contact with him and use web cam on the net to speak to him and she speaks with her ex husband too even on web cam, lol and i think this is why the kids are doing really well because the parents can still remain on friendly terms. anyway good luck with it all. im sure everything will work out fine.

Old 08-15-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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Re: How do you prepare young children for divorce?

Ok, I have no large experience with divorce, but once I got separated from someone I had been living with. Fortunately, there were no kids involved. But I know it is painful for the couple, even when they have finally decided the marriage can't be preserved.

My parents never divorced, but for a long time they lived as if they were so, each of them leading their own separate life. This didn't affect me very much, because they hardly fought or discussed in my presence.

Basically, I think what you see and hear is what affects you. And this seems to be especially true for children. If they don't see fights between you and your husband, if they don't hear his verbal abuse towards you, then they might at first not understand why on earth you are divorcing at all.

I think it is always a blow. There are no ways to make it pain-free, but if you stay calm and civil; if you answer all their questions; if you reassure them that no matter what happens their father and you will always be there for them, even if in separate locations, then their getting over it is a matter of time. Try not to spoil them with too many gifts and a weaker discipline in order to compensate for their "loss".

I agree with the other poster: try to have an amicable relationship with your ex. You may even be surprised to see an improved relationship after the split. This happens, you know.

Try to keep your sense of humour, as best as possible, but I know it is not easy. Don't forget physical contact: hug and kiss them as much as adequate, especially the boy. We tend to forget that boys also need physical contact. My daughter was a thumbsucker until she was nine years old. She stopped it of her own all of a sudden, probably because she was afraid her friends at school might discover it. We often discussed with her about ways of stopping it, but they never worked out until she made the decision herself. I hope this is only a temporary relief for your son.

Tell them that they will now have two homes. That could be fun.

Allow them to cry, if they feel like it. You don't have to say much in these occasions. Just hug them.

If they express anger, be patient. Don't scold them. It will pass.

Good luck.

Last edited by pendulum; 08-15-2008 at 11:31 AM.

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