Dear Savvy Auntie,

How can I help my nieces and nephews through a divorce?

My brother and his wife have separated. The kids are blaming their mom and being very mean to her. I even had to use my aunt voice and explain that it is their dad who wanted to separate.

They are so confused and hurt. I don't know what to do. How can I help get my nieces and nephews through this?

Aunt Voice

Dear Aunt Voice,

Divorce is difficult for most everybody and particularly the children. Usually, the kids are angry at the parent with whom they feel safest. So, don’t try to figure out who is right or wrong -- mom or dad. Allow them to voice their anger, fear, and sadness.

To be most helpful to them, your role is to listen and accept their emotions. Encourage them to express their feelings through written (or dictated) words and pictures.

I also suggest you take a look at The Boys and Girls Book on Divorce by Richard Gardner. It is very helpful and, depending on their ages, the children can read it too.

I hope this is helpful.

Natalie Garfield



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