Your child’s emotional & physical well-being
Children can be surprisingly good at dealing with changes and new experiences. However, monitor how your child reacts to the changes in your life to make sure you’re ready to help them if they need it. How does your child feel?
- Children can feel confused, anxious, sad, hurt, let down, angry or guilty.
- It’s normal for children to want mum and dad to get back together.
- Encourage children to say how they feel – even when it’s difficult for you.
- Reassure your child their relationship with both parents is forever.
- Tell them about the separation – in a way that suits their age and level of maturity.
- Be truthful – explain what changes they can expect.
- Knowing the facts will help them feel less confused and resentful.
Make sure your children continue to feel completely supported by both of you:
- Both parents should agree behaviour boundaries.
- Both parents should agree new routines.
It’s important that neither of you allow children to become involved in adult decisions. However it can help to include older children in discussions about changes that will affect their lives.
Where can I go next?
Gingerbread - support for your child in difficult situations
A factsheet from Gingerbread suggesting how to support your child when you separate. Gingerbread provides expert information, advice, practical support and campaigns for single parent families.
Separated families - helping your children to adjust
Information from the Centre for Separated Families offering different ways to help your child feel more secure through separation.
Resolution - helping parents to help children
Download a free copy of the booklet "Helping parents to help children". Written by renowned parenting expert Christina McGhee, on behalf of Resolution, this book covers a range of topics about the separation process as well as information about how children are affected and can be helped.