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How much notice should the kids have?

(17 Posts)
bizzi Mon 10-Jan-05 11:52:10

Dh and I are seperating, I hope to be out of our house by Easter. I will move in with my parents (200 miles away) settle them at the local school and wait for the sale and completion of our house (it's not yet on the market), before looking to buy near my family. If 'things' can't remain amicable I will go earlier, maybe half term. The kids are 4, 7 and 10. They're picking up on the atmosphere, we think they have known for a while that things are sad in our house. Do we tell them now or wait till 2 weeks before we actually part. Anyone know the answer?

nasa Mon 10-Jan-05 11:54:23

sorry to hear that bizzi, not got any direct experience of this (apart from as a child when my m & d split) but I would definitely say tell them now. Don't try and keep it from the,. The more honest you can be with them the better. One of the things I hated most when my m&d split up was the secrecy, I hated the atmpospheres and not knowing what was happening. good luck.

bizzi Mon 10-Jan-05 11:59:14

thanks nasa, I'm just concerned that plans aren't set in stone and are liable to change so we can't be clear with them. They may struggle seeing us live as a family knowing it will change. Dh hasn't fully come to terms with this yet and says he can't tell the children that this is what he wants and he will be a happier dad...

nasa Mon 10-Jan-05 12:02:16

I know bizzi and only you can decide what's best for your kids but I just think it's worse sensing an atmosphere and not knowing what's going on. You can try by explaining what is happening and why and that you know it will be hard for everyone but in the end it will be ok and they'll still see daddy and if they have any questions or anything tehy should just talk to you about it. Just so they don't feel shut out of it all IFYKWIM

aloha Mon 10-Jan-05 12:02:27

Personally, I think I'd get together now and talk to your children and also let them talk to you and ask questions. They - esp the two oldest - are old enough to know and I'm sure, as you say, they are picking up on stuff. I think better to do it now than just two weeks before. I also think the seven and ten year old should have some input into your decisions - not the final word or anything silly like that, but definitely have the chance to have their say.

serenity Mon 10-Jan-05 12:03:21

Definitely definitely talk to your 10 yr old. My parents split up for the first time when I was 8 and I knew there were problems ages before anyone spoke to me about it. In fact one of the worst parts was knowing something was wrong, but my parents denying it when I asked them - in many ways it was a relief when they finally split.

My parents did get back together after about 9 mths, and I found it very hard to relax, because I never really knew if they were being straight with me regarding their relationship. Every arguement would make me feel sick because I just never knew what was going on!

I think your children have the right to know whats going on in the family, and from experience I would say your eldest knows far more than you think and deserves an 'adult' conversation about it - particulary as it involves such a big move.

nasa Mon 10-Jan-05 12:04:14

the other thing bizzi is that there won't really be a 'right' time to tell them, I don't think it will be that much easier in 2 weeks TBH and I hated that feeling (when I was younger) of sensing that my m&d didn't want me to ask questions - which I was dying to do.

bizzi Mon 10-Jan-05 12:07:58

Oh! hearing you all, so you really think they should be told now even though we wont leave for another 3 months?
Would Friday be better so they have the weekend to follow?

nasa Mon 10-Jan-05 12:19:20

but you mentioned that if you can't remain amicable then you might go earlier. I still think you have to tell them. Certainly the oldest two at the very least

serenity Mon 10-Jan-05 12:25:17

bizzi, it won't be any easier for you to do, or for them to hear if you leave it until later. At least telling them now means they have got rid of that horrible uncertainty and they have longer to come to terms with the split and the move before it all happens..

bizzi Mon 10-Jan-05 12:29:20

Yes you're right I suppose, I know that deep down but am so scared of telling them, ds -10 will go to pieces. I feel so cruel. I know things will be happier and calmer for us all, but this period will be the hardest yet.

serenity Mon 10-Jan-05 13:02:28

It will be hard, and all my sympathies go out to you and your family for having to go through it. Expect lots of tears and anger, but hopefully once you get through it, you will all be happier.

If you don't mind me asking, is this a split with an eye for working through things or a split prior to divorce?

bizzi Mon 10-Jan-05 13:18:01

Split prior to divorce. I don't see any sense in splitting to patch up, I've wanted to do that for years, even had Relate booked for after Christmas as a last ditch attempt, he told me over Christmas that nothing would ever change so I'm getting on with planning my new and happier life.
2 weeks on ie Saturday just gone, having spoken to several friends of his that are divorced fathers, he's telling me he didn't mean what he said and he doesn't want me to go. I'm in turmoil, but am convinced that my love for him has died and he could never change his parenting skills and ways with me enough.
How cruel am I?

nasa Mon 10-Jan-05 13:21:50

I don't think you're cruel bizzi, I don't know your situation but you seem to know deep down how you feel.

Loobie Mon 10-Jan-05 13:24:29

One thing to worry about,well i would,is that the kids reaction i'e being upset etc could maybe sway you into changing your mind and staying because the alternative is too upsetting for the kids.Where as if you tell them close to the time everything will be in place so there wont be any emotionally going back.
Only my opinion as i left it to the end for this very same reason and my kids were fine,not saying its the best way for everyone just my point of view as i know you would do anything not to upset the kids so may go back to trying to work things out when its not really what you want and may just result in dragging out the inevitable,i done that one too.
But it is a hard call to make and only you know whats best for your children,hope all works out for you and yours xx

serenity Mon 10-Jan-05 13:24:42

You're not cruel at all. Don't you dare take all of this onto your shoulders.

It takes two people to make and break a relationship, just make sure that it stays like that - don't take any blame just because you feel bad about the kids IYSWIM.

slug Mon 10-Jan-05 16:37:35

I can't help thinking it would be awful for your kids if you decided to leave at half term. They would suddenly leave school without having a chance to say goodbye to their friends. They need time to settle their own relationships too.

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