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How to explain seperation /divorce to an 8 year old

(10 Posts)
Louise000000 Thu 24-Sep-20 10:53:54

I've separated and planning divorce probably next year, stbxh moved out in Feb.
3 kids handled everything really well and have coped brilliantly.
My oldest DD who is 8 has alot of questions of 'but why' I want to take her out tomo just the 2 of us and try and explain about relationships in a way that she will understand but also age appropriate.
Any ideas?
The 2 younger ones are fine with our initial explanation which was that mummy and daddy had a few peoblems between ourselves and we decided we would work the best and be the best parents if we had 2 homes.
The younger 2 don't understand about relationships, however my 8 year old is more aware and probably more aware than I had thought.

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KylieKoKo Thu 24-Sep-20 17:45:09

One thing I will say is please don't blame or badmouth the other parent. Even if the split was largely due to your ex's behaviour your child does not need to know.

Louise000000 Thu 24-Sep-20 17:52:49

No wouldn't do that, we are on good terms now anyway and get on OK.

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Dodgydreamer Thu 24-Sep-20 19:39:07

What sort of questions is she asking?

I would probably try people sometimes grow apart and sometimes this happens with mummies and daddies but that both mum and dad love the kids just the same as they always have. Major reassurance that she is loved by you both and although things might be different she will still have plenty of time with each of you.

Are you on friendly terms with your ex? Could be helpful if you agree on what to say to her between you and show a united front of loving the kids even though things are different.

ravenmum Thu 24-Sep-20 19:53:06

I think it's important to make it clear that even though you don't love each other any more, that does not mean your love for your kids also has a sell-by date. And to tell the kids explicitly that your breakup has nothing to do with them - it may be obvious to you, but for instance if they overhear any arguments about them, then they can start to think your arguments are their fault, and secretly worry about that without telling you.

AlreadyGone44 Thu 24-Sep-20 20:01:55

Our eldest boy is 8. I've been thinking ahead about this. I thought I'd tell them there are different kinds of love. There's the love you have for a partner or friend and sometimes people change or grow apart and the love fades. And then their's the love you have for your children which is a different type of love that never fades. That while you and their dad no longer love each other you both love them so much and that won't ever change. That families come in all shapes and sizes and you're going to be a different shape of family but still a family. Would edit this depending on if Ex is abusive or uninterested in parenting.

Hels20 Thu 24-Sep-20 20:24:01

Have you tried reading with her The Suitcase Kid? The other lovely book which might help for your younger children is No Matter What - by Debi Gliori.

Louise000000 Thu 24-Sep-20 21:36:49

She has already got used to the fact that we donnt live together because we had problems, she's asking why can daddy not move back, why did he have to get that other house.
Will have a look at those books thanks

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JaggySplinter Thu 24-Sep-20 21:42:25

My situation is quite different, because my ex was abusive and my middle DC was way more astute about seeing this than I'd thought (and than I was!)

But I'd say that listening is the most important thing. So I'd DC asks why, reflect back a d ask "what do you think?" The you know what's worrying them and can reassure them about their concerns.

Louise000000 Thu 24-Sep-20 21:44:07

Have ordered those books now!

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