Shore Fathers Supporting Fathers in our Community since 1994

WHAT DO YOUR CHIILDREN NEED 

WHEN YOU HAVE SEPARATED?

 

Now that you have decided to separate, your lives will change. Some things will be harder, some will be easier.

 

Above all you are likely to want to help your children settle down well. Here are some of the questions people ask about their children.

 

WHAT DO THEY NEED?

 

Above all love and loyalty from both of you.

 

The smallest possible number of changes at a time.  It is best to try to delay changing houses and schools if you can until they have gotten used to being without one parent living at home.

 

They need to know that you have decided to separate in a careful, thoughtful way and that they did not cause this to happen.

 

They need to know that they can rely on regular, frequent contact with the parent who has left. Otherwise they are afraid that the next time they see the absent parent may be the last.

 

They need to know that they are not part of the fight between you and that they can love and be loyal to you both.

 

They need help to cope with and control strong feelings.

 

They need opportunities to talk objectively about what has happened.

 

They need to be able to let people know how they feel.  Often they will talk to their friends.

 

They need time to come to terms with the break-up, to know what their thoughts are, understand their feelings and make sensible choices.

 

They need to be included in planning for the future.

 

WHAT DO THEY FEEL

 

Most children worry about what is going to happen to them. Little children wonder who will look after them and where they will live. Sometimes they wonder who will look after and feed the parent who has left home. They also worry about whether a parent they are living with will stay around.

 

Older children  may worry a lot about money and feel very responsible for keeping the family going.

 

Sometimes children feel guilty that something they did caused the break-up.

 

Children sometimes feel disloyal to one parent when they are enjoying being with the other. They feel torn between the two people they love best in the world.

 

Some children become angry, sullen, negative or rejecting.

 

Some children feel sad or tearful and may withdraw.

 

Others may become over cheerful and pretend nothing has happened and not want to talk about it.

 

Instead of showing feelings directly some children become naughty or get nightmares or headaches or some other distress problem.

 

HOW CAN I HELP THEM TO DO WELL AFTER SEPARATION?

 

By trying to come to terms with the anger and upset and putting it behind you.  You may need counseling help with this.

 

By setting up and sticking to the very best generous access arrangements.

 

By encouraging the children to enjoy the relationship with the other parent and not to use it for spying or message carrying.

 

Be reliable, keep promises, dont spoil them with lots of gifts, lollies or money.

 

Children do best after separation if they have a warm, loving relationship with both parents even if they werent close beforehand.

 

REMEMBER:

 

NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS YOU WILL ALWAYS BE PARENTS.

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