As a child I loved watching Robin Williams’, Mrs Doubtfire.
As an adult, I am appreciating the movie in a different light especially the advice Mrs Doubtfire gives to Katie McCormick distilled into a 1:55 golden nugget for the ages.
Katie had written to Mrs Doubtfire saying:
Dear Mrs Doubtfire
Two months ago my mum and dad decided to separate and now they live in different houses. My brother Andrew says we aren’t a real family any more. Is this true? Did I lose my family? Is there anything I can do to get my parents back together?
Mrs Doubfire responded:
My dear Katie, you know some parents when they are angry, they get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time and they can become better people and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together and sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t, don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other anymore doesn’t mean that they don’t love you.
There are lots of different families Katie, some families have one mummy, some families have one daddy or two families. Some children live with their uncle and aunt. Some live with their grandparents. Some children live with foster parents. Some live in separate homes, separate neighbourhoods in different areas of the country. They may not see each other for days, weeks, months, even years at a time.
But if there is love dear, those are the ties that bound. You will have a family in your heart forever. All my love to you poppet. You are going to be alright.
Many parents ask ‘ how do I tell my children and what do I say?”
Maybe start with Mrs Doubtfire’s advice and if you need more ideas on how to open the discussion with older children watch our interview with Ms Jessie Patterson – Child Anxiety Counsellor here.
No matter what you say, your children need to hear “You are going to be alright.“
And we know with a Courtless Divorce Strategy ® you will be too.
By Nadia Messiha