Stepfamily Reality 32 - Kids Need to Know...

Premise: it's essential for divorcing bioparents to explain factually to each minor or grown child why their family disintegrated, in age-appropriate language. Kids need to know this in order to grieve their losses well, adjust to shuttling between two homes, and build healthy relation-ships with new step-kin. This doesn't mean bioparents should blame their former partner or themselves. It means each mom and dad should work toward...

   ●  Clearly understanding why they divorced,

   ●  Grieving their respective losses and forgiving themselves and each        other;

   ●  patiently encouraging each child to be receptive to hearing this;         then...

   ●  Summarizing the main reasons for their divorce factually for each        child, in age-appropriate terms; and...

   ●  Listening to their kids' reactions empathically, without judgment, ex-         cuses, or guilty defensiveness.

       Until wounded co-parents are in true recovery, they often have a hard time doing these steps honestly. Not doing them risks psychologically wounding dependent kids, enduring significant barriers between ex-mates; and increasing stepfamily tensions. Study Lesson 4 to better understand why any primary relationship fails.