Should single parents quiz their kids about life at the other parent’s home?




I caution single parents to be careful about questioning what goes on in the other home.  Kids of divorce can very quickly discern they have the “power” and will use it as a game. They may delight in watching you squirm as they tattle on the other  parent. They will do the same at the other home. If you have allowed this game to get started, work on stopping it.

Here is what I tell the single parents in my ministry. What goes on in the other home is between your child and the other parent. Work on making your time and your home the best it can be. Even if the other parent is talking bad about you, leave it alone.  You be the Christian and love your kid’s other parent through Christ. This doesn’t mean you are in love with the other parent but you can love them as Christ does.

Unless your kids are being physically hurt, leave it alone. When they bring something to you, such as “mom lets us watch “r” rated movies and she says you’re a wimp because you don’t” (this is only an example) just say, “Mmm, we don’t watch “r” rated movies in my home. I’m sorry your mom feels that way. I’ll be praying for your time with your mom.”

Drop it, say no more.

These kinds of issues are addressed in both Single & Parenting and DivorceCare.


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2 thoughts on “Should single parents quiz their kids about life at the other parent’s home?

    • Yes, I agree divorce is hard. As an adult who is divorced, yes eventually you can overcome the hurt, anger, and achiness one feels when divorcing.

      As a child of divorce, the answer is a little different. As adults, we can heal from the divorce, move forward, and remarry. But a child might not get over the hurt caused by the very people who love him. The child cannot go out and find another parent. They can find someone who will contribute to their life. Some children will get a wonderful stepparent. Every child is different and parents are different.

      One thing that is interesting is the younger a child is when the divorce takes place, the longer this child will process the divorce. For example, if the child was a toddler or preschooler when they enter kindergarten and the teacher talks about two-parent families, this child may wonder why his family is not like the other kid’s in class. So every stage of life, i.e. entering middle school, joining a sports team, high school graduation, getting married, the child may reprocess the parent’s divorce. It might not be overt. Major life events can hit hard. It might be birthdays, weddings, funerals. etc.

      The older a child is when the divorce happens, this includes adult children of divorce, the deeper the crack in the foundation. One young man told me his mom left his dad a few weeks before he was to marry. He said he was standing at the altar and thinking, “Everything I based my future marriage on and everything I’ve learned about marriage just walked out the door.”

      There are no easy answers whether you are the adult divorcing or you are a child experiencing the death of your parent’s marriage.

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