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How To Tell Your Child About Their Role in Your Divorce

So you and your partner have decided to call it quits. Maybe it’s a conscious uncoupling, maybe it’s a messy, drawn-out horror divorce the likes of which the courts have never seen. Either way, the important thing is to establish that it’s not your fault.

You’re a rational person who fell in love and by all rights would have stayed in love if it hadn’t been for a single mitigating factor: your child.

The arrival of a child can be a blessing. It brightens up the home, gives life an extra sense of purpose, and makes you consider your legacy in the world. It also means you have to skip band practice a few times a week until Paulie begins to get his back up about it and opts to bring in his nephew to play bass when you’re not there and then suddenly they’re playing gigs with Paulie’s nephew on bass and you’re out of the fucking band, just like that.

Divorce is hard on children, especially when you blame them for it entirely. Here are some tips on navigating this delicate situation:

Pick The Right Setting:

You don’t want your kid growing up remembering the time their dad blamed them for their failed marriage every time they see a McDonald’s play place. Pick somewhere special, like a scenic park or Disney World.

Be Upfront About The Fact That This Is Their Fault

It’s important to let the child know their role in the divorce so that they won’t make the same mistakes you did. After the obligatory “Mommy and Daddy still love you blah blah blah” really let them have it.

Break It Down:
There are a million ways to angrily say “This is all your fault you little shit!” and you should use a lot of them, but make sure you back up your outburst with empirical facts. For example, between colorful tirades of poetic blame and damnation, state the fact that every time you and your spouse were just about to fall in love with each other again, the child would cry or fall or something and need attention. Knowing is the only chance your kid has at improving. Lord knows you won’t be around to help!

Ice Cream
Get some ice cream. Kids like ice cream. And even if they’re not in the mood for ice cream after being verbally eviscerated and emotionally scarred forever, have yourself some anyway. That was a hard talk!