Are You Disclosing Too Much Information To Your Kids?

Here's how to determine the right time to disclose details to your kids about their other parent

One thing that many parents get wrong when going through a divorce is disclosing too much information to their kids. I am referring mainly to details involving the shortcomings of the other parent.

For many of the same reasons as to why you should not criticize the other parent, disclosing the sins of the other parent to the kids creates significant anxiety for them. Plus, disclosing information to the kids when they are not emotionally ready to receive it can cause even more harm.

A good strategy for dealing with questions from the kids is to defer to the other parent. Simply say, “You may want to ask your father/mother about that.” This gives the other parent the opportunity to get involved in the discussion and respects the relationship they have with their child(ren).

Our Lord has some great advice when it comes to disclosing information:

“For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible, nothing is secret except to come to light.” – Mark 4:22

What Jesus is urging us to understand is that nothing will remain secret forever. He is inviting you to trust Him to determine when information is to be revealed. His timing is perfect, and if we decide to take matters into our own hands, we could very well be derailing our Lord’s plans.

Other Strategies

Helping children cope with your divorce is one of the biggest challenges you will face. In my blog article, Essential Keys to Recovering from Divorce: Your Kids, I address five other strategies for helping your kids, including: if you should acknowledge your grief and sadness, when to get them involved in major decisions, and why being consistent and predictable is so important. Our kids did not ask for divorce to be thrust into their lives. It is up to us as parents to help them in every way to cope and heal from it.

Question:

Are you facing questions from your kids about their other parent’s behavior? How did you handle it? How did they receive it? Anything you would do differently? Please share your thoughts below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 thoughts on “Are You Disclosing Too Much Information To Your Kids?

  1. Thank you Vince for posting this article. This is always a truism. That said in some instances such as severe parental alienation, a parent taking the high road becomes play space for the other parent to destroy the relationship between the kids and the targeted parent. Just want to express this instance as their are others likely experiencing this. The truth gets buried further and further, making it in some cases seemingly impossible to repair what was damaged. In the end, the kids suffer most, and the targeted parent is heartbroken and seems helpless to stop what’s being done. Still, we seek God, pray to Jesus for strength, do our best in remaining faithful that truth will one day prevail and that our kids will not be forsaken. Thanks Vince, your messages of hope and wisdom have made a great impact on this subscriber. To all those enduring the suffering of parental alienation, you are continually in my prayers. Peace,
    Mike <

    • Mike,

      Thanks for your comment. My post was focused mainly on what to disclose to the kids, not on how to respond to the other parent’s comments/accusations, etc. I agree with you that you should not allow an endless stream of insults or information that could alienate your kids. What I have found to be effective is to reach out to the other parent and ask that BOTH parents agree to not speak negatively about the other parent to the children — for the benefit of the children. Even if each parent can’t agree on anything else, they can (hopefully) agree to do what is best for the kids. If a parent persists in spreading damaging information, I suggest you address it with the kids as succinctly as possible with an “I am sorry you were told that, but that is not true.” You can leave it at that, or if more clarification is needed, elaborate with an age-appropriate response. It is very important at this point not to retaliate by sharing sensitive information about the other parent or criticizing the other parent to the kids. That just keeps the cycle going. Often the other parent will find out about the response, and also find out that no retaliation occurred. This can help “train” the other parent how to respond to questions from the kids. I provide some insight on this in my Daily Inspiration, Training Your Ex. https://vincefrese.com/training-your-ex/

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Live Abundantly,
      Vince