The Book -- Chapter Summaries
Chapter 4: Telling the Children


Chapter 1: Considering Divorce
Chapter 2: Whom Do You Tell, and Why?
Chapter 3: Reassuring the Children
Chapter 4: Telling the Children
Chapter 5: Buying Presents, Buying Love
Chapter 6: Children Blaming Themselves for the Divorce
Chapter 7: Short Visits
Chapter 8: Creating a Schedule
Chapter 9: Handovers
Chapter 10: Transitions
Chapter 11: Telephoning Home
Chapter 12: Why Not on Thursdays?
Chapter 13: Staying in Touch
Chapter 14: Sharing Dad's Bed
Chapter 15: Two Birthday Parties
Chapter 16: Moving from the Family Home
Chapter 17: Grandparents
Chapter 18: Playing Messenger
Chapter 19: Keeping Secrets from Parents
Chapter 20: Therapists
Chapter 21: Last-Minute Cancellations
Chapter 22: Reading the Agreement
Chapter 23: Individual Time
Chapter 24: Assuming New Responsibilities
Chapter 25: Sleep-Over at Dad's
Chapter 26: Gender Stereotypes
Chapter 27: Fiscal Responsibilities
Chapter 28: Introducing the Significant Other
Chapter 29: Just Like Your Father
Chapter 30: Refusing to Spend Time with a Parent
Chapter 31: Adolescent Dating Anxiety
Chapter 32: The Disappearing Parent?
Chapter 33: Long-Distance Parenting

In which fifteen-year-old Sandy tells what it's like to hear only part of the truth when her parents reveal their decision to divorce.

Actually telling a child that one parent is going to leave the family home and live elsewhere is an event parents dread. However, it is far better than having the child experience an abrupt departure of one parent without warning. The child's diary expresses her fears on hearing the news while her father grapples with indecision about exactly how much to say. The commentary stresses the importance of what to say, when to say it, and how to plan the sequence of events so that both parents are prepared to meet the children's needs at this difficult time.

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