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Split Happens

How to Deal With a Friend's or Family Member's Divorce

Page: 7 of 10
  • Family friends are getting a divorce, and all the kids involved have a lot of questions about it.

    If your families have always been close, then you may find yourself in the position of being your friends' kids' confidant. "Their children may talk to you before they talk to their own parents," notes Swann. Reassure them that their parents still love them, and that the divorce is absolutely, positively not their fault (often a child's biggest fear or suspicion). But resist trying to answer specific questions about "what happened." The truth is that you don't know the details.

    Your own kids may also be full of questions, such as why their friends' dad (or mom) isn't living at their house anymore, or whether you're on the road to divorce too. Answer their specific questions as they arise ("Yes, Jen and Joe's dad lives in a different place now, but he still loves them very much") without trying to over-explain. Saying something like "Sometimes, families have problems that mean the mom and dad can't live together anymore, but it has nothing to do with how much they want their kids to be happy and loved" goes a long way, says Lancer.

Split Happens
How to Deal With a Friend's or Family Member's Divorce
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