Collaborative Post¦ The process of separation can prompt your family to ponder a myriad of potential ‘futures’, all whilst combating ever-present feelings of uncertainty. A lot of families who have experienced separation do, in retrospect, perceive that period of time to be a valuable turning point that can influence the future of your family dynamic for better or for worse, this being dependent on how you and your partner approach introducing your child to this new reality. Of course, navigating the complicated nature of separation with your child can be a daunting thought, rest assured that your strength will only be a source of assurance and security for your child.
Here are just a few small ways you can support your child when going through a separation.
Transparency throughout this process doesn’t necessarily mean that your child has to attend every meeting you have with your divorce lawyer. It simply means that you should be ready to talk openly to your children about separation. Be there to answer any questions they may have, and when answering their questions, be mindful of the thought and courage they’ve used to speak to you about such a loaded topic.
It’s also worth noting that whilst children can often demonstrate insight and understanding beyond their years, if your child is shy and is less likely to approach you readily, chances are they’ll be mulling over the idea of separation in their head and may be coming to their own conclusions. If your child isn’t approaching you, be sure to reach out to them routinely and let them know of any developments in the process.
Speaking of developments in the process, it’s becoming common for families to move out of their family home or even move to other cities, just to complement the new chapter of their lives that can begin after a separation. Whether you’re living alone after the separation or primarily living with your child, this physical division of the family home isn’t immediately easy for anybody. For young or high school-aged children, however, these big life alterations when coupled alongside a change as monolithic as a separation, can be incredibly jarring.
If your child expresses a desire to stay in the family home, in their community, and is adamant that they’d like to keep their school and friends, it’s your shared responsibility as your child’s parents to ensure that your separation doesn’t interfere with your child’s sense of agency in their own life. We know that avoiding big changes is never always possible, but so long as you try your absolute best to make sure that the separation is never a higher priority than your child’s right to maintain the basic building blocks of their day-to-day life, then you’ll be doing your job as a parent.
Another part of respecting and supporting your child’s right to make their own decisions is simply ensuring that they know just how much support and resources are available to them. Whether or not things are amicable between you and your partner, your child will still be feeling a sense of growing independence when it comes to managing their own life and apprehensions. Most children feel as though they may not be able to come to their parents about ‘little things’ because they can see their parents going through so much with the process of separation.
You want to ensure that your child always has somewhere to go and somebody to talk to if they need somwhat e distance from this process. Ensure that they know their feelings surrounding this process are entirely valid and that there are services and resources available to them during your separation, as well as the following divorce.
Separation is never easy, but so often it can be the right thing to do for you and your family. So long as your child knows that this process paves the way for positivity in the long term and that you and your partner demonstrate just how much better life can be in this ‘new reality’, your child will feel this support and go forward with a sense of security as your new family dynamic is unearthed together.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Welcome to my blog! I'm Laura, a 29 year old mum of two. I live in Kent with my high school sweetheart husband Dave, our daughter Autumn and newborn son Reuben.
I write about my experiences of parenting, as well as my plethora of interests including fashion, beauty, cars, weddings, mental health and the home.