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Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

At what age can kids first understand the concept of divorce?

Poll ended at Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:14 am

A. Ages 2 to 5
5
38%
B. Older than 5
8
61%
 
Total votes : 13

Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby mom2momkc on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:14 am

For the first time ever, "Sesame Street" has decided to tackle the topic of divorce. What do you think? How old are kids when they can first understand what divorce is?
Share your thoughts by answering the weekly poll question. Post your comments and check back often on mom2momkc.com to see how the mom2mom panel answered.
The question: At what age can kids first understand the concept of divorce?
A. Ages 2 to 5
B. Older than 5
Kady McMaster
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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby mamalackey on Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:26 pm

Heck, Kady. I'm 53 years old and I still don't understand divorce!
Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out. ~Frank A. Clark
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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby Qcaller on Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:39 pm

I was married and divorced before building the family I have now. Just as my kids were adopted and I've always wanted them to feel comfortable discussing it, I also wanted my kids to know that I'd been married once before so they wouldn't be surpirsed by the information later in life. I've mentioned it pretty casually and kept the conversation gentle. I don't speak ill of my ex because I want to teach my children to have grace for others even when relationships break down. I don't know how well they actually understand it but at least it won't come as a surprise later on and they can't say I hid it from them. As for how well they understand divorce? Who can say. As mama lackey implied, sometimes it just doesn't make sense, no matter how old we are.

I'm sure Sesame Street will handle the issue with sensitivity and tact and age-appropriate language. CTW is a pretty trust-worthy organization.

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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby mygr8crew on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:13 pm

I had three children five and under and one older than five when I was divorced. I had to explain what was going on, in a way that could be understood for them. It wasn't a one time conversation, it was constantly evolving, because as each year progressed, they understood more. Totally? No, divorce is a complicated process, sometimes more difficult than others. Also, my youngest was one at the time, so no, he did not understand at all.
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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby ithaca2kc on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:49 pm

I'm not sure at what age kids can understand divorce. But I do know that preschoolers are living through divorces, whether in their own family or those of their friends'.
Since it's a part of their lives, we should be explaining it at the appropriate level. Bravo to Sesame Street for helping young children of divorce feel more "normal."
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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby eparn on Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:58 pm

I'm not sure what's hard to "understand" about the mechanics, at least, of a divorce. I told my kids I'd been married and divorced before when they were 5 and 7. Aside from initially thinking they had some long lost family member, they very easily grasped the concept. However, to understand the emotions surrounding divorce is something that not many adults can even fully do.
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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby oldsoccermom on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:36 pm

I think it depends a lot on the family dynamics BEFORE the divorce. My boys were 8 and 12. My ex was a very difficult man to live with (controlling, verbal abuse, affairs and finally, physical abuse). My oldest son called the police from a neighbor's phone. Both my boys had friends whose parents were divorced, so they weren't unfamiliar with it. And I stopped worrying about whether I was scarring them for life when the 8-year-old told me several weeks after the split, "Gee, Mom, it's so nice not to have Dad around here anymore throwing tantrums all the time." Out of the mouths of babes. :shock:
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Re: Mom2mom poll: At what age can kids first understand divorce?

Postby lisab on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:53 am

I don't think there's a perfect age for children to understand divorce, especially with so many different circumstances ending marriages. Every child is unique and children tend to interpret the same explanation differently. Parents know their children best. I think it's up to the parent to decide.
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