"My fiancé received a text from his ex saying she was signing over her rights to the kids, and she never wants to see them again.
And she also went on to say that we needed to tell her oldest that because of her ‘lies,’ she would never trust her again nor have anything to do with her. (She is only ten btw.)
We don’t know what to do. We definitely have not told the girls this. And don’t have any intention of telling them what she said. But our eight-year-old doesn’t understand why her mother won’t come over.
My question is, how do we help her through this? How do we help both of them thought this? How do we explain what’s going on to an 8 and 10-year-old?"
RELATED QUESTION: How can I explain to my boyfriend what I am going through?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“I would wait until the paperwork is filed and stuff. Perhaps in the meantime, you can find a family therapist, and speak to them about the situation -separate from the girls- and get their opinion on how you break this kind of news to kids without destroying them? Or, if she ends up not going through with it, perhaps the therapist will still have valuable information on how to protect them while still giving mom access to the girls. Then either way you can sign the girls up for weekly sessions to discuss life and help them through this stuff, especially the 10-year-old.”
“Let them know their mom isn’t in her right mind. That she needs to seek help for herself. Let them know it’s not their fault! Make sure you all show them extra love and time. They are going to have many bad days and be patient with them. Cry with them, hug them so they know you are hiring for them as well.”
“Please do not tell them this. If I were in your shoes I would definitely get the girls in counseling to help with mom being absent. As for when they ask about mom’s absence I told my children that their dad just wasn’t in a good place in his life right now and when he gets in a better place then we would reach out. They are grown now and no he was never in a better place but once they got older we had the more honest and mature talk.”
“It’s not necessary to tell them anything yet. If mom follows through and cuts off contact, you can address it then. You just received the text last night…mom may have been drunk, depressed, etc, and feel completely different in a couple of days…”
“You don’t say a word!! Tell them their mother is going through a tough time. And hopefully, one day when she’s better, she’ll be involved. And you concentrate on showing them the love and stability they need.”
I would tell them that their mother needs help right now because she’s not in a good place in her life. And that she needs their understanding and love and patience. That you hope she’ll come back around when she’s better. You NEVER tell a child that they are not wanted, especially by their own mother. Even if that’s the case. If she’s truly horrible, they will realize that on their own when they are old enough. Good luck to you and your family."
“I would talk to a lawyer. But tell the girls that you aren’t too sure what’s going on with mommy but that they are safe with you and dad. Don’t speculate or lie. If they ask if she said anything say yes but you aren’t sure what it means so the adults have to sort it out. And then stick to that.”
“Tell them that she made some very bad decisions and is unable to be with them at this time. Leave it at that.”
“You are so blessed to be able to love these children and guide them through this trauma in their lives. Be age-appropriate!!!, and honest with them. Don’t ever lie. They need to earn your trust. Seek counseling if need be. The children are more aware of what is going on than we realize, and I am sure are very frightened. Bless you & your fiancé. Much luck with choosing the right path.”
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