Separating from your partner will always be distressing but especially if you have kids. Parents splitting up can have a lasting impact on young ones, so you need to make sure that you handle the process with care and put their needs first. Although it is sure to be an emotional and challenging period for all parties, you may find that in the long run, the children become more mature, understanding and compassionate if you handle the process properly. Although it is easier said than done here are a few tips for managing a separation when there are kids involved.
First, it is important that you are honest with your children. Kids can be incredibly perceptive, so it is best to be upfront and avoid making any claims which are unlikely to be true (such as that you might get back together).
Avoid Placing Blame
Although it is important to be honest, you should avoid placing blame on anyone or badmouthing their other parent in front of them – they are still their parent and will always love them no matter what. Additionally, make sure that they know that it is not their fault and that you will both love them always.
Shield Them From Arguments
For children, there are few things worse than seeing their parents argue. A separation will always have arguments, so you need to make sure that these are behind closed doors and that you are civil to each other when the kids are around. This might be challenging, but it is vital for the children’s sake.
Listen To Them
Although you will be experiencing a lot of difficult emotions yourself, you need to recognise that your children will also be going through issues and will have their own concerns. This means that you need to listen to them, legitimise their feelings, and offer your support where possible. They may also find it helpful speaking to a counsellor if they are finding things particularly difficult and/or it is interfering with school.
Use An Experienced Law Firm
The legalities of a separation can be complex, particularly when there are kids involved. Using an experienced law firm can make this side of the divorce or annulment much easier, and they will know how to create an outcome that has the kids’ best interests in mind.
Maintain A Routine
Children thrive under a routine, so you need to make sure that everything remains as normal as possible during the process. This will include getting up at the same time, getting a lift to and from school and going to bed at the same time. Things might change after the separation where a new routine will need to be established.
Hopefully, this information will help you to manage your separation and look after your kids at the same time. While a separation will always be upsetting and difficult, if you handle the process with care, then the kids can manage and come out the other side stronger and more mature.