How Do Children Understand Divorce?

We explain to them to convince ourselves that this is the right thing to do.

Teaching English online is a means to put food on the table in a desperate time during the COVID-19 outbreak. What I found is the more I teach, the more I enjoy meeting various types of people. From elementary school children to semiconductor mechanical engineer.

Smiling on the video camera, I listened…

She: My best friend is my cousin! She comes to my house everyday but not Thursdays. Grandma cooks dinner and we eat together! *attempted to keep her glasses from falling off her nose*

Me: That sounds so happy! But why doesn’t she come on Thursday? Does she have piano class? ballet lesson? *encouraged her to carry on*

She: No, she has to go to her father’s house. Her father and mother don’t live together. Her father lives with his girlfriend. *still the same cheerful mood as if she was talking about her favourite cartoon*

Me: Ah I see…

Photo by Allison Archer on Unsplash


Often, we hear them say to wait until the kids are grown up, so they tolerate it.

What do divorce and separation mean for children?

The concept may be complicated for them, but do we understand it any better?


I have mixed feelings about reuniting with high school friends. Yes, I would like to see how they’ve changed and listen to their life updates, but what follows? We fall out and lose contact again.

Sitting with my ex-best friends, I played with the water drops formed on the iced cold bubble tea glass…

She: Oh, and my parents separated. I just thought you guys should know. *nonchalant*

Her: Wait, what? Did your dad cheat like mine?

She: No, they are just too different. They should have divorced a long time ago. I was so fed up with them arguing and screaming. Anyway, they waited until my brother graduated from university. We all knew though, he was a sensitive kid. *sipping her tea*

Her: Are you okay? *concerned*

She: Yeah, I feel like these days, everyone I talked to have divorced parents. Don’t you think so? Let’s count, Dave…

Photo by Aaron Torres on Unsplash


Some countries pride themselves on the 65% divorce rate; some insist on keeping the family together.

A decision that does not only concern us but also those we hold dearly.

The responsibility so great that suffocates at the thought.

Nonetheless, the choice is ours, to leave and live, or remain and repair.

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