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The Kids Are All Right

In a touching Huffington Post article, the author compiled a list of wonderful things children had to say to their parents after their divorce. Wait, children can handle divorce? This idea clashes with the notion that divorce ruins children emotionally for life. As it turns out, the doublespeak occurs unabashedly. While browsing the Huffington Post’s divorce section, you can also see titles like, “Study: Divorce Affects Kids’ Math and Social Skills,” “5 Reasons Divorce is Good for Kids,” “Children of Divorce More Likely to Contemplate Suicide,” and “Should You Stay Together for the Kids?”

With all this conflicting information dumped on parents, it’s a miracle anyone makes it to finalizing their divorce without a mental breakdown. But there is a way to divorce without ruining your children’s lives, and that’s with honesty and affection.


Most divorce articles and studies note that children who have been negatively impacted by divorce feel they cannot trust others. This is probably due to the way the divorce was sprung upon the children. Divorce can take children by surprise, and it often does. In a child’s mind, there are two parents, and it would defy logic and reason for the parents to split; it’s like a divorce cannot even take place. That is, until the child’s parents sit down and tell the child point blank, “Mommy and Daddy are getting divorced. We are not going to live together anymore, but we still love you.”

This is an honest statement, but up until this point was the child able to see that sometimes even parents don’t agree? The lie in this scenario was the “all is as it should be” lie, which is a lie of omission parents frequently make. We’re not promoting full-fledged arguments in the child’s presence, but we also do not support lying to your children that life is always a walk in the park. Even after a split, it is best to allow your child to openly ask questions about the divorce and your feelings (just answer the questions honestly). This will develop the child’s sense of trust, even in the face of divorce.


The biggest way to reassure your child of the love and care you have for them is to shower them with affection. Make sure they feel loved and cared for by you, your family, your ex, and your ex’s family. Affection, coupled with honesty, is the best way to reassure your child that a divorce does not mean a divorce from them. Make a note that affection does not mean caving into your child’s every demand, spoiling them, or never reprimanding them.

By affection we mean the same parental love and guidance you showered upon your child before the divorce. So don’t create new rules or bend old rules when it comes to raising your child. You put those barriers up to protect them from a destructive and negative disposition and life; their world is changing, so don’t start changing the boundaries of their world too.

To  make the transition smoother for the child, then follow the two rules. What is best is never easy, so even though you may be internally conflicted or feel guilty about divorcing, never break the honesty and affection rule. If you follow the two rules, you may end up hearing things like this “I love seeing you happy again, mom,” or “I am proud of you, you are strong.”

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