Helping 5 year old with separation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-11-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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DH agreed to move out. DD just turned 5. DH has always been "around" - in the house, mainly doing his own thing (playing WoW) and DD and he are not real attached. Sometimes he plays with her for about an hour every other day or so. They play well together.

But when I leave, she does NOT want to stay home with papa. I know some of this is normal, but she is happy to stay with friends that she is more attached to (babysitters, for example).

I'm not sure how to tell her about him moving out, or if I should make a big deal out of it? I kind of feel like if I say, "Papa's at work" for a couple days she'll stop asking about him and that will be it. But that doesn't seem like a good way to handle it, really. She might have questions later about her Papa leaving, and remember how it was handled.

What should I tell her? What can I expect her to need to help her through the transition? Is it possible she might not need much help at all, or am I being oblivious?
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#2 of 4 Old 01-11-2010, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

What should I tell her? What can I expect her to need to help her through the transition? Is it possible she might not need much help at all, or am I being oblivious?
First, I would seriously recommend you get a hold of this book:

It was the most helpful one I read about kids and divorce.

Do you and your H have a plan for sharing parenting time? If, so let her know when she'll be going to her dad's or when he's coming over, etc.

Stress that you both love her and will both be involved. But I think it's important to cover the logistics. Respond to her cues. Let her ask questions and answer them as best you can.

My DS was 5 when we divorced. He initially seemed to roll with it pretty well. But in the last 6 months he's had more questions.
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#3 of 4 Old 01-17-2010, 01:34 AM
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Just chiming in that I'm looking for resources, too, for our 6.5 year old. She's very, very, very close to both of us. We're splitting up amicably and will definitely be sharing custody. But I'm anxious to figure out the best way to bring her into this new reality. I suspect she suspects already.

Thanks for any other suggestions (or even other places on the discussion boards, I can't find much!).

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#4 of 4 Old 01-17-2010, 03:30 AM
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no matter what you do it is going to be tough for all around you. you cannot avoid that. they are going to be sad, upset, scared, angry, throwing a tantrum, etc.

BC you know your child. do what's best you think is for her. what is right for her - not what is right in general. if you think he's at work works best for now, do that. then while she has gotten used to him being away, sit her down and tell her what has really happened. in the meantime you have bought yourself some time and she has gotten used to what it is like. if you are lucky then like most dads, they spend more time with their children after breakup rather than when they were married.

the key to the closest that you can do amicably is to make things as close as they used to be. its not so much about their surroundings. its more about getting what they are used to of mommy and daddy. and then comes their favourite things. toys, blankies or whatever it is. a comfort thing.

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