Last week, my son told me that a friend's parents are getting a divorce. I don't know the parents well, so I was shocked and asked some followup questions to make sure he had his information straight.
Yes, he said, it was true, and his friend, David (not his real name), was really excited because his dad was moving to a new house with a cool attic. David didn't seem upset about the divorce at all, according to my son.
This gave me a good opportunity to talk with my son about divorce and what David might be feeling, even if he wasn't showing it.
My 9-year-old has several close friends who are in blended families, but being around a friend in the midst of divorce is a new experience to him. He asked me several questions -- the kind that are hard to answer whether or not you know the circumstances: Why are David's parents getting a divorce? Where will David and his sister live? Will they still be a family?
We've invited David over for a playdate next week. Part of me wants to prepare my son somewhat so he is sensitive to what David might be going through. On the other hand, maybe what David needs right now is something "normal" in his life, like a run-of-the-mill playdate with a friend. I don't want to inadvertently inject any awkwardness into the situation.
If you've been through this, what did you tell your child? If you were a child of divorcing parents, what did you find helpful in your life?