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How much should a parent divulge about reasons for divorce?

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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 1:59 pm

Dear Straight Talk: I have recently separated from my husband. Our 15-year-old son keeps pushing me for why I want the divorce, but when I try to explain, he accuses me of bashing his dad and shuts me off. This keeps happening and is causing frustration between us. His father was emotionally abusive to me and had multiple affairs that I’m pretty sure my son doesn’t know about. How much do kids really want to hear? And what is best? Please help. — Divorced Mom

Moriah, 17, Rutland, Vt.: Almost all of my friends’ parents have separated and each friend wanted different amounts of information. Some preferred to be completely in the dark while others needed all the information to feel settled. All knew more than their parents realized and were frustrated that their parents were hiding stuff — or worse, lying. Since your son keeps grilling you, he’s the type who needs more of the story to make sense of things. Make sure the truth is told in an unbiased way, allowing for his own interpretation. Or let him know there are things you don’t want to share. This is much better than omitting something without saying you’re omitting it.

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