Single Parents

How did you "explain" divorce to your preschooler?

My son is 3.5. STBXH is still living with us but is moving out next weekend. Originally, he was planning on moving in with his parents, so we told DS that "Daddy will be living with Grandma and Grandpa". DS was happy because he loves going to his grandparents. But now, a change of plans, and STBXH is getting an apartment, pretty close to our marital home. We  started telling him that Mommy and Daddy are getting our own houses, that he will have a room here and a room there, and plenty of toys to play with and have fun. He asked why...and his Dad jumped in and started talking about how he'll have two room now instead of one and how much fun it will be. I feel like he needs a better explanation but don't know what to say.

Re: How did you "explain" divorce to your preschooler?

  • I just had to explain this to my 4 year old.  It depends on the reason you are going your separate ways.  I was able to explain that everyone still loved DS the same as before but that Mommy and Daddy didn't fight as much as when we lived in different places, but that nothing else was going to change for him. 

    DS then jumped on the fact that he would have two rooms, etc and sometimes has a few questions but otherwise he has no issues with this.

  • I used this book it helped a lot to clearly explain to the children, My DD was 5 and my ds was 2 when we left.

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  • My parents divorced when i was 2 and a half. My mom got me the book Dinosaurs Divorce, and it helped me so much. It covers all the things that a little one may be wondering about from rooms to holidays to possible stepparents. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
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  • We explained it like you did (my ds was 3.5 when we divorced). When ds asked why daddy was getting an apartment, I just said that he decided he wanted his own place and we will stay in our house and mommy and daddy are still friends (that's my big lie, I hate ex and put on a good face for ds) but we wanted our own space. We left it at that.
  • I told them their father would not live with us anymore. IT was a slightly different situation at first because I didn't know where he was for a little while. (During that time I told them he was away working because I didn't know where he was and I couldn't tell small children that--had it gone on for longer than a couple of weeks I would have gone into more detail)

     When he returned I didn't mention divorce just that he would now live in a different place but he still loved them very much and he would visit. (they were not permitted to be with him unless at my home and supervised due to his condition)

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