Aug 24, 2011
In the first episode of The Intelligent Divorce, Dr. Mark Banschick, M.D. discusses how to tell your children about divorce.
Truth is a great value, but it is not the only value by which we live. When it comes to kids, their health and well-being trumps everything else. We bring them into the world fresh and innocent. Your children were probably born into an intact family. This is what they know – a solid, caring team who loves them.
Much will change with a divorce. A child is no longer able to be with both of their parents at the same time, under the same roof. Their sense of security can be lessened and they must adapt to a new way of life.
Do you really want to tell them the truth? Should they know that their father had an affair and left their mother (and them)? Do you want them to know about their mother’s alcoholism? I’m not so sure.
There is a lot in life that’s private. Kids need to have their innocence. This means that they need not know everything – explicit details are better left unsaid. In my mind, their mental health trumps truth.
This opinion is not always embraced by parents, particularly a parent who feels wronged or defamed. That parent wants the child to carry the same opinion about the other parent that they carry. Here’s something to remember: your children are not you. They are entitled to their own opinions.
In this program learn the essential Do's and Don'ts when it comes to breaking the news to your children.