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The Absolute Worst Ways Kids Found Out Their Parents Were Getting Divorced

Updated June 14, 2019 147.3k views15 items

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If you need a crash course in how to not tell kids about divorce, check out these stories. Telling your kids about divorce never feels easy— and while there may be no right way to do it, there are certainly some wrong ones. Some terribly wrong ones. 

When it comes down to it, how to tell kids about divorce is one of the trickiest parts. You need to reassure them it's not their fault, but that's easier said than done when you've got resentment issues brewing between you and your partner. Plus there's the fear that the kids might take sides. Folks at Reddit shared their stories of how kids can find out about their parents' separation, and offer some advice on how to tell your kids about divorce. These stories of how kids found out about divorce are entirely unfair, featuring violence, animosity, and straight-up blame towards the kids. Divorce comes with enough baggage, and nobody needs this on top of it. 

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  • Attempted Kidnapping

    From TheSloth17:

    "My dad tried to steal my brothers and me away in the night before my mom got home from work. Lot of violence and police that night. So don't do that."

  • Don't Make Them Choose

    From aviary83:

    "My parents pretty much did everything wrong. My sister and I went through some f*cked up sh*t...

    Nothing feels worse than feeling like you have to choose between your parents, whether it's something big like who to live with, or something relatively small like who to believe about something. My father once said that my mother and him should have lived near each other so they could co-parent more. That would have been a f*cking disaster and I'm glad they didn't. So I guess they got that one thing somewhat right."

  • Shouldn't Have Been Married At All

    From zucc0:

    "They screamed at each other until my mother left. I guess it could have been better, but it was the first of a few times in my life where a huge relief came over me. Then began the negotiation, first through the courts and then through me, for visitation and general planning. That is stressful at seven. Especially when your little brother forgets his snow boots or something important and you have to organize an unscheduled meeting. People later, years after the dust settled, would tell me it wasn't about me and that confused me. Of course it wasn't about me, they were both assh*les to each other and had no business being married in the first place."

  • During Deployment

    From anxiousreader:

    "My dad was deployed when they decided to split up, but he was on his way back to the states for his retirement and moved to New Mexico. Before he did that, my mom sat me down and explained that, 'Although Daddy and Mommy loved each other, they decided it would be better off to be friends.' I was nine, I didn't cry, and she honestly answered my questions and I still felt like it was my fault. My five-year-old brother didn't really understand besides the fact that they weren't going to be married anymore, but he didn't really seem to understand that Dad wasn't going to be moving back up to where we lived."