Helping Your Child: Coping with an Absent Parent

Honesty is always the best choice when speaking with young children, and it is only natural for children to become curious about absent parents. It can be difficult to articulate the facts when feelings of hurt, rejection, anger, or grief still remain. Below are a few resources that can assist in this conversation. 

Child Development Institute

How to cope with the loss of a parent, whether it be by divorce, death, or abandonment, the remaining spouse can use this guide to help themselves and the child through the transition.

University of Minnesota Extension

This article explains the different types of abandonment (complete/sudden, sporadic, and gradual), what to say to your child about the abandonment, and how to proceed.

Verywell Family

Growing up with an absent parent can leave kids with a deep sense of shame and loss. And when the absence appears voluntary, the impact can be even more intense. As the remaining parent, there’s a lot you can do to support your child and build his or her self-esteem.


For a full list of resources, please visit Helping Kids to Cope with an Absent Parent

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