How Do I Answer My Child’s Questions About Parenting Time Disputes?
By Carrie Eckstein
As attorneys, we get this question all the time. It is a difficult question, and we provide a pretty simple answer. You do not want to place the child in the middle. You do not want to over-share adult information. You need to protect your child and protect their innocence in light of the situation. Keep it simple and appropriate for your child’s age and development. Do not make your child take your side or feel that he or she has to empathize with you.
Let your child know, in your words something along the lines of:
- So many people love and care for you and you’re lucky to have so many people that want what is best for you. We are all going to figure this out and you don’t have to worry about a thing.
- It is really tough just being a kiddo, and we don't want you to have to worry about anything; the adults that love you are trying to figure out what is best and will get it all sorted.
- You don't have to worry about a thing. We have it all handled.
- We are all working together to try to figure out what is best for you because of the school, daycare, fiends, activates, distance, and/or living arrangements right now.
- It is okay to be scared or confused, but we love you and are going to figure this out.
Be straight, keep out unnecessary details, and don't place your child in the middle. Reassure your child that they are loved, you all want what is best, and the adults will handle things. If your child keeps asking questions, then it is time to tactfully change the subject and consider that a mental health professional may need to help your child deal with this troubling, difficult, and confusing time with therapy or supportive peer groups. At The Harris Law Firm, we have a wealth of resources on our website, and be reached at (303) 622-5502.