When you decide to file for divorce — or you have the papers filed on you — it can be especially tough on the children. It’s during these times they are likely to ask the most unwelcome of questions. Sometimes you may not have an answer. Sometimes you may have an answer you can’t share. And sometimes you can actually help them adjust to the “new normal.”
One blogger for DivorcedMoms recently shared the 14 things that her son asked her after the divorce papers were final. While we suggest you check out her post in its entirety, here were some of the most intriguing.
Why did Daddy leave?
If this fits your situation, you may find it difficult to answer honestly without inserting a little negativity into the commentary. The blogger suggests something like this: “… because he and I weren’t getting along and we couldn’t agree on some important decisions. Those decisions had nothing to do with you or with anything that you did. Daddy didn’t leave you. He moved out.” Notice how the answer doesn’t heap blame on the father, and it redirects the reasons for the divorce to the people actually responsible — Mom and Dad.
Do you miss Daddy?
This could also be “Do you miss Mommy,” depending on custody. If you’re the parent facing this toughie, you may want to try infusing a little tact with your honesty. The blogger suggests using past tense and saying something like, “I have a lot of happy memories with Daddy both before and after you were born. When I think about the past, sometimes I miss those good times.” Notice that emphasis is on the memory and not the person. This is a careful line to walk because you don’t want to instill false hopes in your kids, especially if the divorce forms are the final word.
Are you in love with Daddy?
This one really stings because there is no good way to finesse it. At the same time, that’s a good thing because it means you can start getting your child used to the new reality of life with two homes. The blogger suggests being direct: “No. I was once, but not anymore.” Of course, if you go this route, your child may wonder if there’s a chance that your love for him or her could be conditional since it was for Daddy/Mommy. That’s where you can help your child to understand the different forms that love can take.
What are some questions that your child has asked you since the divorce? How did you answer?