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My heart breaks for my 7 year old niece, who for the first half of this year watched her parents split up. The details of the divorce don't really matter, and frankly, I don't really know all the details and don't care to. All I care about is that little girl. To strangers she seems happy, well adjusted and care-free, but I cannot tell you how many times she's cried to me, fearful of what will happen next, who will she live with? Where will she live? Will she be able to see the family she loves? Will she ever be in a stable home?
These questions are questions no child should ever have to worry about, never have to ask. Like it or not, our children's happiness is largely dependent upon the choices we make, and in painful and stressful situations they might not know how to voice their feelings or who to voice their feelings to. They can feel helpless, and when the source of their pain is the two people who they depend on the most, it is easy to see how loneliness and depression can also set in.
I know that divorce is so, so complicated and that it hurts all parties involved, but it is my feeling that the children are particularly vulnerable. So I ask, for those of you who are children of divorced parents, how did they explain the situation to you? How did you react to it? How did they help you through it? And most importantly, how long did it take for you to come to terms with it and be able to move forward? What would you say to my sweet, broken-hearted niece?
I know it's a touchy subject. Answer anonymously if you like! Thanks!