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Thread: How to tell a 2 year old you're separating?

  1. #1

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    Default How to tell a 2 year old you're separating?

    Hi Just wanted some advice.
    DH and I are separating. I am staying in the house with DS and DH is moving out to a caravan on a farm (cannot afford a bond, deposit and admin fees of an estate agent so this is the affordable option). We have mentioned sometimes that Daddy is going to move his bed into a caravan when we thought the move was imminent. However the caravan never materialised and DH is still in the house. So now DS thinks the room DH is in now is the 'caravan' ARGGHHH

    Anyway DH should be moving out in a week or two if he ever finds a caravan to put on his plot. So I am worried now that DS will not understand because of the time gap. I have done sort of role play with his little people in his toy house, with the daddy sleeping away from the house etc and we mention things like Mummy and DS's house and Daddy's caravan.

    I guess my question is will he understand much of it? What would you tell a two year old or what have you told a two year old??

  2. #2

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    I am not sure but my dad left when I was 2. I don't remember it but apparently my mum told me dad had moved out and wouldn't be living here anymore, I didn't believe her so she showed me all his clothes had gone. Then I said ok and ran next door to tell my neighbour. I'm pretty sure I had no understanding of what it all meant, accepted it and just went on with my life as usual. One thing I think that was good is that neither parent ever said anything negative about the other in front of me.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Nai! I am guessing he won't have too many conscious memories (later on that is) of us living together so it may be easier on him at this age. Do you remember missing your Dad living with you? DH (exDH) and I plan to keep up the allotment we have as a 'family' activity and to have dinner altogether and other special occasions (for as long as is possible) so that he sees us together in a positive way. That is why we decided to separate. We cannot live together but are actually good friends. If we kept on the way we were going we would no longer have liked it other at all, so I hope we have chosen the best time for this although there is no good time...

    Has anyone actually told a two year old themselves?

  4. #4

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    I don't remember my dad ever living with us and I never missed it. It sounds like you have a good arrangement though.

  5. #5

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    I had an 8yo, a 4yo and a 2yo when my now exH and separated. We sat them down together and told them that we both loved them very much but that Dad wasn't going to be living here any more. My exH and I are still good friends too and now I'm even friends with his new wife lol. People look at us funny when we all turn up for appointments and they can't work out the relationship

    You are doing the right thing by your DS by telling him in simple words and some play action. He won't really remember the day your DH leaves but the years later and the interaction will mean a lot.

    Take care hunny xxx

  6. #6

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    I guess we did things a little different cause me and my Boy's moved out (up to my parents)- about 8weeks ago now. My 2year old seemed ok...I don't think he is old enough to understand anyway...though he did challenge me at sleep times until we got into new routines.

    My almost 4year old (will be 4 in May) I explained we wouldn't be living with Daddy but they will still get to see daddy on the weekends. A few weeks ago they both had a moment where they both cried wanting to see daddy...it broke my heart. I tried to explain they'd see him on that weekend but it took a little to calm them both. Yesterday I had some sad moments again (well have them most days the last few weeks but was a little more yesterday). DS1 told me not to be sad...gave me cuddles and told me to be happy...to which i told him i just love them both so much. He later asked if i liked living here- just as I had asked him a few times lately. I said yes...does he- he replied yes...we all so happy.

    I think it will get easier as the new situation settles in. We call daddy every few days and i still talk about him with the Boy's and they have fun with daddy on his weekends.

    I think it makes it easier to do at their young age....its why we made the call now...so they can adjust.

    I'm sure you'll have challenging moments but it won't be for ever (I hope...for you and me and everyone else going through it).



    Bec sent this on her Samsung using Tapatalk

  7. #7

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    Hope your ok huni. Hugs xx

    Sent From My iPhone Using Tapatalk xx

  8. #8

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    Thanks everyone! He has a caravan now and should be moving out soon. I look at my little boy sometimes and just think that he has no idea his whole world is about to turn upside down but then I console myself with the fact that at least he is not losing his daddy completely and he is actually going to see a lot of him. It is going to be hard but it is for the best in the end. I don't want him growing up thinking our dysfunctional relationship is normal and to go through the heartache of seeing his parents destroy each other.

  9. #9

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    My sister left her husband and kids in October last year, the boys were almost 3 and 2. Because there was no warning, the boys weren't prepared, and nothing was said. They've just accepted that they only see Mummy on the weekends. The only thing I've noticed is that they've gotten a little bit clingier with us, whoever their favourite for the day is can't leave the room or they'll cry or ask where we're going, but on the whole they've dealt with it very well.

  10. #10

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    i think you have been doing the right thing with the explinations and play acting, fx it is a reasonably smooth adjustment hun


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