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Answering Tough Questions

Though kids’ questions may have no easy answers, it’s important they know it’s always okay to ask. While having these conversations, sit together in a comfortable place and hold kids close. While you talk, hold their hand or give them a long hug. A simple touch can go a long way. Here are ideas for answering three common questions:

What’s a divorce? This big question can come at any time—sometimes when you least expect it. You might say, “A divorce is when two people decide not to be married anymore. Although we won’t be married anymore, we will always be your mom and dad. We both love you very much and that will not change.”

Why did you get a divorce? You might have many answers to this question, but the best thing to remember is that there are certain things to share and other things that don’t need to be shared. You can say, “Mommy and Daddy had grown-up problems that we couldn’t fix, even though we tried and tried. Even though we won’t be married anymore, we’ll always love you. We will always be a family, but we will be living in two homes.”

Will you get back together? This may be an uncomfortable question. Still, it’s an important one to clarify. If the answer to this question is “no,” communicate this. Answer honestly, but without sharing unnecessary details about why. You might say, “No, we are not going to get back together, but we will always be your mommy and daddy.”