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To tell them or not

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


To tell them or not

We are separating. The kids don’t know and we are thinking of telling them after my oldest daughter has done VCE. Do you think it’s ok to wait? We are cordial to each other. The kids know we are moving but not that we are separating.
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Re: To tell them or not

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Hey @Sammy100 , wow what a difficult situation to be in. I’m so sorry that you and your family are going through this. I can tell that you really care about trying to provide your daughter with a stress-free environment during such a stressful time as the VCE. It’s hard to say what the right decision is in this case.


Some things to think about might be whether your kids would be upset to learn that the decision to separate was made much earlier. Another thing to think about is the fact that kids are pretty perceptive – they may notice a shift in you and your partner’s behaviour and communication, leading them to realise that something has changed.


It’s really hard to know what might happen either way. There may be all sorts of feelings that could come up – grief, anger, relief, and confusion are to be expected. It could be worth getting some extra support on board for you and your family, whether you choose to wait to tell them or not. Relationships Australia might be a good place to start. You can also encourage your kids to get in touch with Kids Helpline if ever they need to talk through their feelings with someone outside of the family. For yourself and your partner, you can always give SANE Australia (1800 187 263) or BeyondBlue (1300 224 636) a buzz. Sometimes it can help to talk to a counsellor – it might help you get clarity, and explore what pathway forward feels like the best option.


We also have a few articles that you can read:

Separation and teenagers

Talking to your teenager about separation

Making divorce and separation easier on your teenager


Whatever you decide, I hope that things get easier for you and your family.