When you have friends or family members who are getting divorced, or your children have friends from school whose parents are getting divorced, it is natural for your children to have questions. It may be difficult for you to provide answers. If they ask a question that you do not have an answer to, it is perfectly all right to say, “I don’t know.”
Why Children are Concerned About Other People’s Divorces
Your children may not have ever thought about the meaning of divorce, or even about the word divorce. But when someone close to them gets divorced, they become concerned. What does divorce mean? Could it happen to their family? Children may begin asking questions.
Common Questions Children May Have about Divorce
Some of the most common questions children ask in these situations are:
- “Mom and dad, are you two going to get divorced?” A good answer may be that “We are in a good place right now, and we don’t expect it will happen.
- “Will my friends still go to the same school as me after their parents get divorced?” If you know the answer, then tell your children what you know about where their friend will go to school. If you don’t know, then answer simply, “I don’t know.”
- “If my friend moves will they still be my friend?” Assure your child the friendship can endure someone moving out of the community, and that you will help stay in contact with their friend.
- “What should I do for my friend?” Tell your children that the best thing they can do is just to continue being a good friend. Reassure them that their friend’s parents will always be their parents, even after the divorce.
No matter what your own feelings are about the divorcing couple, or how they are related to you, do not disparage either the moms(s) or the dad(s) to your children. If you and your spouse have your own discussions about the couple’s impending divorce, do not have these discussions in front of your children or anywhere near they could overhear you.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce, or for help with talking to your children about it, contact us at Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law. We will answer your questions and if we decide to work together, if necessary, we can call in a child mental health expert to help us talk to your children. You can also call us at 650-642-3897.