David Arquette told Howard Stern this morning that he and Courteney took their 6-year-old daughter, Coco, to the beach to break the news that they’re splitting. Experts tell HollyBaby that by doing it together, they did the right thing.
When Courteney Cox and David Arquette made the decision to split after 11 years of marriage, they knew that telling their daughter, Coco, was going to be the hardest part. According to David, who called into Howard Stern‘s Sirius radio show this morning (and admitted that he cheated on Courteney with a 28-year-old bartender Jasmine Waltz), they took Coco (pictured above with her dad this morning, Oct. 12) to the beach to tell her the bad news. Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle Ph.D. thinks they made the right choice to do it together at that location. “The fact that both parents told her together was the best approach,” she tells HollyBaby.com. “The beach environment could have been an added benefit because a beach has negative ions that heal and calm.”
Manhattan-based psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert agrees that David, 39, and Courteney, 46, did it the right way. “Breaking the news to kids about divorce should always be done jointly. Although parents may have differences that led to the breakup, they need to be united when it comes to conveying the news to the kids,” he tells HollyBaby.com, adding that it’s important for the parents to be honest and also make sure that the kids know that the breakup had nothing to do with them. “Kids often internalize this and feel they are to blame and wonder if it’s something they said or did. They need to reassure Coco that this had nothing at all do do with her.”
“David and Courteney must assure Coco that they love her no matter where what,” adds Dr. Carle, who stresses that it’s important that neither parent bad-mouth the other in front of Coco. “Children that age are only interested in how any new issue will affect them. Where will they live? Who will take care of them? What does the future look like? They need to be assured that they will be safe, no matter which parent they are staying with.”
Whether Courteney and David can work though their problems and reconcile or if this is the end of the road for their relationship, if they follow this advice, they can be sure that the divorce won’t adversely affect the little girl that they love so much. We’re curious HollyMoms, if you’ve been through a divorce or breakup, how did you break the news to your kids?