Post # 1
Recently, a family we know has gone through a divorce. We don’t see these people often and fall into the aquintaince category, so we don’t really know any of the whats or whys of what led to the divorce. This morning Anna, my six year old, told me she needed to talk to me about something. We sat down on the sofa and said, “Why do some people get divorced?” I asked her if she was talking about the people we know. She said yes. Then she said “Could that happen to you and Daddy?”. I didn’t know what to say because we haven’t dealt with this before. We are also rather conservative and I don’t want to make it sound like divorce is something we think is good, but we certainly don’t want her to hear of people getting divorced and think negatively about them either. How do you explain that you and your husband are not going to divorce because we believe that it is important to keep our marriage healthy and that God doesn’t want us to give up on our marriage? How do you explain and pass on your moral convictions about marriage without making your children judgemental?
I told her that we will sit down as a family when Daddy gets home and talk about divorce. (I wanted him to be there and I need some time to think about how to approach this).
Post # 3
This is a touchy subject. I would tread with caution because obviously you want her to understand that marriage is designed to be life-long, but you also don’t want her to think that kids coming from divorced families are “bad.”
There are some great books which explain divorce well for children. Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Hand-Books-Parents-Separated/dp/1402773951/ref=sr_1_24?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335810836&sr=1-24
I strongly recommend you pick a book written in third-person. Some divorce books would be inappropriate because they’re intended to help kids process their own emotions surrounding their parents divorce (“My mommy and daddy live in two houses” type of books). But I think a book does a great job discussing how difficult divorce can be for families, but that the kids are not to blame and will be okay.
To discuss your own opinions regarding divorce, it seems like it is a good idea to have both of you sit down with her and explain why marriage is an important thing for your family. My mom sort of did this with me throughout my childhood. We had open, age-appropriate conversations about marriage, and later the Church’s position on marriage, co-habitation, pre-marital sex, etc. This needs to be an ongoing conversation. Now it will be brief, as a broad overview of God’s vision for marriage. Once she’s able to think a little less concretely, you can include books and discussions of those heavier topics. More important than feeling like you “have all the answers,” she needs to know that when she has questions about issues like this, she is welcome to come discuss it with either of you. If you have a youth minister at your church, or a sunday school coordinator you feel comfortable approaching, you might ask of any resources they’re aware of which discuss God’s vision for marriage at an age-appropriate level.
Post # 4
I wanted to add from the perspective of a child, and then a divorced adult. I came from a home where my happily married parents made divorce seem like an end of the world type of thing, as in – those poor, poor kids! When my ex-husband walked out on me and my daughter I was sad for myself but even more devastated for my daughter, partially because of the way I was raised. I NEVER thought I would get divorced and it made me feel like a complete failure, not jsut as a wife, but as a parent.
I am glad you want to avoid painting those who divorce in a negative light, because you should try not to give your children the impression that is something people take lightly.