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No! And don't tell them if they are young. They do not need to know at this age. You should never talk bad about their mother even if it is true. They need to know one thing at this age, that both of their parents love them. Appropriate age would be 14+ if they ask.

A bit more:

All you need to tell very young children is that you and mommy won't be living together anymore, but that you both still love them very much. Then as they get older, they will naturally have questions. When that time comes, and it may be before they are teens, it is ok for you to tell them that you and their mother didn't agree on the same lifestyle. It won't be a lie, yet it won't be telling them things they may not be able to handle just yet.

In the meantime, if your ex has visitation with the kids, they may ask her why you and she divorced. So you need to decide what you think is the best answer for her to give them, and then talk to her about it. Let her know the only thing that matters in all of this is what is best for the kids. Assure her you have no intention of telling the kids all of the sordid details of what she did, but that you expect her to tell them an age appropriate truth if and when they do ask her. Even something like "I made some mistakes and I've paid dearly for them by not getting to be with you" should be enough to satisfy a young child's question about it.

But when they are old enough for the truth, they have a right to know why their mom is not the mom to them they deserve. It's hard for kids to grow up without a mother, and even harder when they don't understand why. So they do need to be told something, but worded in a way that won't tarnish their love for their mother, or make them doubt her love for them.

It's completely understandable if you feel a lot of anger and resentment towards your ex for her illegal activities, but don't let the kids know how you feel right now. As they get older, they will possibly have anger and restentment towards her, too. But it will help them the most if you can just be there for them then, and help them to understand everyone makes mistakes. And if she has changed for the better, you can even help them to have a relationship with her, for their sakes. But if she has not changed, and is still involved in that type of activity, then the kids need to be protected from her lifestyle and the influence it can have on them.

I think when the time comes, you will know what to tell them, and hopefully, she will too. But while they are still really young all they need to know is that both of their parents love them very much.

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โˆ™ 2010-08-12 17:45:30
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Q: Is there a delicate way to explain to young children that mommy's sociopathic behaviors and criminal activities are the reason for their parents' divorce?
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