If you're a Massachusetts mother and considering and or going through a divorce, this topic ranks right up there on the most dreaded conversations to have. "How to tell the kids" is bad, but what's worse is what will they will say after you tell them.
Here are the ten most commonly asked questions to Massachusetts mothers -- and some really great ways to respond.
1. "Why?" This is the hardest question to answer because -- mainly -- we're still likely wondering why it's happening ourselves and so explaining it to children is painful and challenging. The best response is simply this. "Because all of us want to be happy, and daddy and I can't be happy together."
2. "Can we all still live together?" As odd as this may sound, it was the most common question asked of mothers. The best response is a gentle, "No, we are going to have two homes for you now instead of one."
3. "Will you and Daddy maybe get back together?" It's only natural to ask if this is a temporary phase that mommy and daddy are going through... or not. A great response is. "We won't get back together, but we will both always be there for you."
4. "What's going to happen to me?" The first question on children's minds is how this affects their world. After all, let's face it -- that's where our minds went when we first started contemplating divorce. The best response is one that offers comfort and stability without giving details of the future that might not be available. "Everything is going to be okay. What won't change is how much we love you, and that we are here for you."
5. "Am I going to be able to go to my same school/daycare/nanny? In some cases, a divorce created the need for some mothers to move out of their homes... and the cities that they lived in. Tough on kids who now are faced with not only a divorce, but being the new kid in school/daycare. A response can be, "Yes, we get to go on an adventure and meet new friends. So we must be brave together!" The answer showed solidarity against the obstacle, without putting the move in a negative light.
6. "When is this happening?" Most mothers they waited until they knew the timing of everything before telling their kids. It eliminated the fear of the unknown and a cloud looming above them on when their life is going to change. Best response is a little unconventional but does work. "In two weeks. We get to pack and ride in a big moving truck so I've got a calendar here to mark off the days until our adventure begins."
7. "Did I do anything wrong?" Of course, this question is expected, but it breaks our hearts to hear our little darlings utter it out loud. However, most kids fear that they've done something that could have contributed to the disaster that now befalls them. Best response by far was a gentle, "Absolutely not. You are the best and most perfect thing your daddy and I ever did together."
8. "Can we still live in our house?" . Once again, a response that offers comfort and tried to gain support behind such a horrendous change. "No, we can't, but you get to help find somewhere new to live.
9. "What about my brother/sister?" The notion that one sibling might go one place and be separated from the other sounded silly, is a question that continues to be asked. A sibling creates a built in ally in the face of sudden and irrevocable change, and it's a powerful tool for the newly divorced. Best response reinforced that sibling bond. "Your brother will be with you; always. Through this and anything else that comes our way."
10. "What if I don't want you to get a divorce?" By simple belligerence, they might be able to change what's happening in their lives is quite common. By far, the best response is. "It's really hard for all of us. But it is happening and together we can make the best of it."
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.