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.
At The Airport
From an anonymous user:
"I was five. I remember one day leaving my mom at the airport. My sister and dad were with me. I had no idea where she was going or what was going on. A few days later I began to ask questions and remember my sister telling me that my dad had 'kissed another mommy'. I didn't see or hear from my mom for at least three years after that.
I finally found out last year the exact reasons. It turned out my dad cheated on my mom, then told her. When she reacted negatively he beat her in front of my sister who was maybe six or seven at the time. It went as far as her locking herself in a room to be safe and him breaking the door to get in and beat her more. She had tried to kill herself on three occasions but never succeeded.
For the longest time it sucked because I didn't understand the gravity of the situation and was angry at my mom for abandoning me. Try to avoid this. If neither one of you are violent and hostile or abusive make sure that your kids spend time with both of you. And don't make your partner out to be the bad guy, no matter how tempting it may be.
Whatever you do, try to have your kids understand the situation, don't have them wondering for more than 10 years what actually went down. Most importantly make sure they understand it isn't their fault."
Blurting It Out
"My mom told me we were moving and dad wasn't coming with us, ever. It pretty much f*cked up my day."
The Blame Game
"Well my dad blamed my mom for the affairs that ruined their marriage when he was the cheater and living in his sister's apartment at the time. He felt it make things easier between himself, his sister, his mother who lived downstairs, and us and them, but we all knew the truth. Instead he came off like a huge asshole who was forcing our mother out on the street after everything else he'd done because it was as always about him.
He should have moved out and left us and my mom to care for us; instead we got stuck with him for two years before he moved out and my sister and I took over finances and rent and sh*t at 18 and 16. We never missed a damn rent check or utility bill payment, while he failed to ever pay a thing on time or at all, even when my mom worked three jobs to just put microwave meals on the table."
What A Vacation
"I was 14, and my sister was 17. It was my dad's fault (he ran off with his now-wife 13 years ago). I got told while on a family holiday and, well, that trip was basically ruined . I took it as well as I could, lobbed a glass at my dad and broke a window, but calmed down eventually.
"As for the divorce, he then pretended his business was worthless when it was actually worth £1m+, so my mum got royally screwed over as she chose a clean break over maintenance. But luckily she worked extra hard to get a career going while looking after us and we always had food on the table, a decent house and saw them both enough."
"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
"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."