Your children have no choice but to go through a divorce with you. They may have many concerns, though, that you need to have answers for. Your guidance is important as they learn to adapt to what’s happening to them and how their family is changing.

Children often have more basic questions than you’d expect. It won’t be uncommon for your child to ask if their other parent will be at their dance recital or basketball game, for example. It wouldn’t be uncommon for them to ask why the other parent won’t come if you go (or vice versa).

It is important that you have the opportunity to sit down with your child and explain the situation in a way that makes sense, but it’s also wise to talk to the other parent if these questions start being asked more frequently. Here’s an example.

Imagine that your child asks you why their dad won’t come to their recital if you go. What kind of answer would you give? You could admit that you don’t know, or you could say something honest, such as they don’t feel comfortable. However, it’s better to talk to your ex-spouse first. Ask them if there is something you can do to make it easier for them to attend. For example, what if you sit on opposite sides of the room, or what if you at least use a video call to allow them to see the event? Being reasonable and accommodating may help you find a solution, and the problem could resolve itself over time.

If there is a more significant reason that they won’t attend, such as not having an interest in attending or having to work more due to the cost of living in Sonoma County for a single parent, then you may ask that they explain to your child that they’d like to come but cannot due to work obligations. Perhaps they can come up with another way to make up for that lost time, such as watching a recording of the event together after the fact.

It can be hard to raise your children after a divorce, but creative thinking can help you manage their expectations and your own.