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For separated/divorced moms: How do you deal with questions from your kids?

My ex-husband and I separated when our eldest was only two years old, and our other daughter was only an infant, so I always assumed that neither would remember how things were when I was with their dad. Jenna is now 5 years old and during the last few months she's been asking me why me and her dad aren't together anymore. She says she remembers things (though I think she's basing her "memories" on old photos she's seen) and is always asking me if I still love her dad. She told me it makes her heart feel good when her dad and I do things together with her and her sister. I told my ex and his egotistical ass thinks I'm making it up because he claims Jenna doesn't ask him anything like that - though I doubt she would since his girlfriend (who Jenna does not like) is always around. I don't know how to explain things to her - she's too young to know the truth and I don't want her hating her father for what he did.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:34 PM on Nov. 23, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (2)
  • Just try to be honest with her. If she asks you about loving her dad you can always say that you loved him alot when you had the kids. That you will always have special place in your heart for eachother. Just validate her feelings if she says it makes her heart feel good agree and say its nice to have both parents spend time wiht you a the same time. Sometimes they just want someone to hear how they feel. I also try to talk about stories of my dd's dad. When it is his bday I will getout supplies and encourage her to make a card. It is hard cause my ex doesnt deserve any of this, but my dd does so i do it for her. I try to answer er questions in the kindest way possible.

    Answer by ria7 at 2:45 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • You have to come up with a "story"....not exactly a lie, but something that you can stick to. I told my son that his dad went away because he didn't love me anymore and he had a "problem". In truth, I think he had some sort of mental breakdown, because we never heard from him again after the divorce was final.
    One of my hardest times ever was when I was taking ds to Disneyworld when he was 6 and he said "I'll find my dad there" And I said what? And he said he talked to other kids who told him that you can find anything you want at DW. I had to tell him that we would not be seeing his dad there. My son is 18 now, there has never been any contact, since he was 2 and he turned out fine.
    It's absolutely normal for a 5 year old to be making up things and wishing you were back together. Good luck to you.

    Answer by kjrn79 at 2:48 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

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