Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Separation can have devastating effects on your children. The breakdown of a relationship can be tough for both you and your ex. However, you can make the process a lot easier. As parents you can make choices to help them adjust to their new routine and to limit the effects of your separation. Here is a check list that suggests ways of protecting your loved ones:
1. Never Argue in Front of your Child
No one ever said that getting on with your ex would be easy but the worst thing you can do is argue in front of your child. Your child is dealing with their own emotions and having to see two people they care about acting aggressively towards each other can do a lot of damage. They will feel upset and may think that they are responsible for their parents arguing. It is best that any confrontation is in private and that any time together is harmonious to help the transition be as smooth as possible.
2. Keep Communicating with your ex-partner
Contacting your ex-partner in a calming manner, making it clear that you want what is best for your child and being understanding and accommodating to their point of view will create better relationships between you and your child. If you struggle to have face-to-face contact, try using the phone, text, email or Skype. Skype, or other forms of video calling, are also a great way of seeing and speaking to your children if you cannot see them regularly.
3. Try to Agree How your Child will be Brought up
A lot of parents argue about the small things in life, which in the grand scale of things, doesn?t really matter. If you can agree on the really important developments in your child?s life, you can feel more secure in the fact that your child is in the best possible position. Remember, the important person in the equation is your child, and by compromising, your child will benefit. You should both trust that your ex will be equally as good a parent as you.
4. Keep your Promises
Never let your child down. If you want to be an active part of your child?s life, and a positive role model, you must stick to your word. If you always do what you say you will do and be where you say you will be, this will keep certainty in your child?s life. It will also help you to maintain a good relationship with the other parent, as they need to be able to trust you like you need to be able to trust them.
5. Be Flexible
It may be that you have a court order detailing your ?times? of contact and it can be very infuriating if your ex wants to change any of the details from one week to the next. But remember, life does throw us curveballs and as a main caregiver, you always need to remain flexible and be there for your child. Even if your ex doesn?t have a good reason for Changing Contact Arrangements, the more time you get to spend with your child, the better.
6. Respect your Ex?s Relationship with your Child
Do not use the children against each other or encourage them to take sides. As you want to maintain a good relationship with your child. However much you disagree with your ex, your child will undoubtedly love them as much as they love you. If you try to score points against the other parent, you will find yourself losing out as your child learns to make their own decisions.
7. Make sure that your Children are Provided for
As you separate from a household to two separate providers, both of you may become poorer financially than you were together. Try to ensure that your child?s standard of living doesn?t change between households, so it creates a stable environment for them. If your ex is struggling to provide for your child, help them. You know this is for your child?s benefit at the end of the day. Seek advice on benefits if necessary.
8. Get your Child to Open up and Talk about How they Feel
Children are easily affected but can just as easily hide their feelings. Let them know that it is okay for them to be upset and get them to talk to you about how they feel. If they struggle to open up face to face, suggest drawing or writing feelings down in a diary.
9. Don?t give up!
However hard it is, never give up! If you are struggling to get some co-operation from your ex, you should still fight. Your child can either remember being let down, or they can remember all the good times they have with their mother AND father. Remember to seek advice if you need it and remember that you are not alone.