Guest Post: How I Told My Kids We Were Getting Divorced

11 Responses

  1. I have avoided telling my boys. They’re 6 and one of them is special needs. The other one is very attuned to what’s going on but I’m scared. Very scared to tell them. I don’t want to shatter their world. They’re far too young. But it’s inevitable. It has to be done…

    • L.J. Burke says:

      It is such a hard discussion. It has to be done though. You DO NOT want them to hear you’re getting a divorce from any other person, except from you and or your spouse. You owe them that! Perhaps getting a family counselor involved might be a good idea. The sooner you tell them, the better off you will all be. I told my kids we were still going to be a family, but different. Make sure to reassure your kids that you love them and that will never stop. Also, they will not be abandoned or neglected. It works best if your soon to be ex is on the same sheet of music as you. Good luck to you. I have some more hints on how to deal with these types of situation in my book, “Divorced Dad” Kids are Forever, Wives are Not. I would love to send you a free copy. Let me know. My email is
      L.J. Burke

      • I totally agree with you. They need to hear it from us, we owe it to them. But the dad has a completely different point of view. When we went to our mediation (which turned out to be useless) the mediator herself a family psychologist reiterated the point that we need to be honest with our kids. But he disagreed…
        Thank you for your insight. I’m actually getting your book kindle edition 🙂

  2. Robyn says:

    My adult children knew before me and my youngest is the one who told me what was going on! The ex told my out of state daughter that if she needed to ‘find’ him (why?, they both have cell phones) he was going to be at our condo in another state. He then told her what his plans were. I was out shopping with my son when he got a phone call. Turns out it was my daughter telling him what was going on. He and I went to get something to eat and my son was the one who told me what his dad had told his sister. When I got home the ex was gone and there as a note on the kitchen table. I had was blind sided.
    Would loved to have been a fly on the wall watching him get an airplane ticket to the condo and pack his suitcase all before I got home!
    I felt so bad for my kids having to find out the way they did and my son having to tell me but the ex could only think about himself and his feelings at the time. He left because he wanted to be happy. By doing what he did he completely destroyed the family unit. Have not seen or talked to him for over four years now. Turns out it’s the best thing he has ever done for me!

    • L.J. Burke says:

      I cant believe a person you trusted and loved could be that spineless. You may not see it now, but is that a person that you would want to grow old with? I don’t think so. Stay strong and take care of yourself!
      L.J. Burke

  3. tracihalpin says:

    I too know how heartbreaking this conversation can be. You sound like you did the best job you could do. My ex and I told our daughter when she was 9. I will never forget how she sobbed for a half hour in her little feety pajamas. At the same time, I know she would be far more damaged if we stayed together. Divorce and coparenting are hard and stressful. We try to put her first and we get along for the most part. But I wonder what it must be like for my child to live in 2 different homes. 🙁

    • L.J. Burke says:

      I remember the day like it was yesterday. My heart was pounding out of my chest and my palms were sweating. It is a very tough thing to do, but it must be done the right way. Your kids deserve that! It sounds like you’re a great Mom and you are very in tune with your daughter’s emotions and needs. Stay strong and do what’s right for your daughter! The rest will take care of itself. Good luck to you and keep being the great Mom that you are!

  4. Anonymous says:

    One of the worst days for sure. My ex ‘let’ me do the dirt work too! Although that was a tough conversation, I have never had any regret about the decision.

  5. June says:

    One of the worst days for sure. My ex ‘let’ me do the dirt work too! Although that was a tough conversation, I have never had any regret about the decision.

    • L.J. Burke says:

      It is never easy to have that conversation. It should be planned out between you and your soon to be ex. Unfortunately life isn’t always that perfect. I’m sure you did a good job, even though you did it by yourself. Good luck to you and your future with your kid(s). You sound like a tough cookie!! Hang in there and always take the high road.

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