shockedMany kids are shocked when they find out that their parents are getting a divorce.  Some parents fight a lot, and the kids in those homes may start to suspect that their parents are going to split up.  But, if you came from a home where there wasn’t much conflict, you may have been entirely surprised when they broke the news to you.  You probably didn’t know that one or both of your parents weren’t happy in their marriage, and you may be left feeling angry and confused as you work through the shock of it.

You are not alone though.  Statistics tells us the about 75% (that’s 3 out of every 4) divorces end a marriage that is classified as “low conflict.”  That means that the parents didn’t argue or fight very much.  So, there are lots of kids out there who had no idea that their parents were headed down the road to divorce until it actually happened.

If you were shocked by the news of your parents’ divorce, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  1. It wasn’t your fault.  Just because you were surprised by the news of the divorce doesn’t mean that you had anything to do it.  You didn’t cause your parents’ divorce.  Divorce is an adult issue between your mom and your dad.
  2. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it.  Many kids who are surprised by their parents’ divorce start to think things like, “If only I had seen it coming, I probably could have stopped it.”  The fact is, there is nothing you could have done even if you knew it was coming.  When you understand that the divorce was not your fault, you should also understand that divorce is not something you could have prevented.
  3. Things will get better.  Divorce hurts, and you were doubly hurt because you didn’t have any time to get yourself ready for the news.  However, you should know that with time, and by sharing your emotions and problems with trusted friends and adults, things will get better eventually.  They won’t ever be exactly the way they were before, but they will get better.