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advice on how to talk to kids about divorce?

flmomma08's picture

You can read the details in my last post, but I am filing for divorce from DH due to his heroin/pill addiction and his refusal to get real treatment for his issues.

We have an almost 4 year old together, a baby on the way, and he has SD11. I don't think it's my place to talk to SD about it (she lives with BM right now anyway), but what about our daughter? She is so little and keeps asking when daddy is coming home. So far I have been saying he's at work (it's not unusual for him to travel for work) and I have called and let her talk to him but she has not seen him in almost a week.

I have no problem with him coming to see her as long as he is sober but he knows he is not going to be unsupervised with her and is not going to take her anywhere. I don't want to confuse her either with him coming to the house, but there is no way I am letting him take her out of my sight.

Any advice when the child is this young? I even thought about taking her to a counselor but I don't want to blow things out of proportion and make it even worse.

susanm's picture

You might want to wait until the baby is born and you have a better idea of what he is going to do about his addiction.  Right now in your condition there is not an awful lot you could do if he showed up to meet you somewhere high and started acting out.  People in a public place may or may not help and it could take time for police to arrive.  And frankly it may not be a great thing for her to see him depending on what condition he is in.  You probably need to see him for yourself before she does.  An active junkie can go downhill very quickly and be potentially frightening to her.

Do you have arrangements for her for when you go into labor so that she will be safe?  And are you set for support for yourself for the birth and afterwards?  I am so sorry for your troubles.  I really admire how strong you are being through all of this!

flmomma08's picture

That is true, I would prefer if I could see him first before she does.

As far as when baby is born, yes my mom is going to keep my daughter while I am in the hospital. I don't think I'm going to have much support afterwards unfortunately.

Thank you so much for the encouragement.

susanm's picture

I am glad that you have your mom to take care of her while you are in the hospital.  Is she not going to be able to help once you bring the baby home?  Having a newborn and a 4 year old is going a be a lot.  Not impossible of course but a lot.

If you don't mind my asking, do you have support for the delivery since your mom will be taking care of your daughter?  I don't mean to pry.  I am just very touched by your strength during all of this.

flmomma08's picture

She will be a little help but she will have to go back to work when I get home from the hospital. My best friend (the kids' Godmom) will be with me during delivery. I'm having a scheduled c section so fingers crossed I don't go into labor early and at least one thing in my life can go smoothly! Thank you again!

susanm's picture

Really happy to hear that you will have someone close to you there.   Best wishes for everything to go as scheduled!!  Smile  

Siemprematahari's picture

Flmomma~ right now focus on taking care of you and your daughter. You have the option of sitting her down and explaining the changed dynamics to her but do so when you are not stressed and perhaps more settled.

Wishing you a speedy & healthy recovery and baby.

flmomma08's picture

Thank you. I will probably just keep it simple. I just want to stop lying to her about daddy being at work. He does travel for work but never for this long at a time so I think she is starting to question it.

Aunt Agatha's picture

You are showing such grace and strength through this incredibly difficult time.  I wish   there were something all of us on the web could do to make this go away.  

I have no experience with the situation you are in, but you seem to be doing everything from a place of thoughtfulness and kindness to your little one (and soon to be new born).  I can only imagine once you are through this darkness, you will recognize how truly strong you are, and what a great parent you are to your children.

Hang in there!  Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well...

flmomma08's picture

Thank you so much. I don't feel very strong right now but I know I have to protect my kids. I appreciate all the support so much.

Rags's picture

"Your dad and I are not happy together and we will be divorcing.  I love you very much and you don't need to worry about your dad or me.  If you have any questions just ask."

Then keep parenting and as the kids get older introduce them to the facts, the CO, the divorce decree, and any pertinent information associated with the situation.

It works.  This helps the kids to understand, helps protect them from manipulation, and when they are adults it will help them protect themselves.

Good luck.