Separation & Divorce

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Behaviour

Separation and divorce does not have to cause ir-repairable damage to your children. In some cases, children are much happier with their parents apart as long as they have regular contact with both Mum and Dad.

Children are all different and, as such, deal with the breakdown of their parents relationship differently. Some seem to cope, taking everything in their stride, whilst others show signs of emotion, anger, upset and bad behaviour. All these are normal and, although difficult and upsetting for parents to deal with at the time, a little patience, reassurance and understanding usually brings matters back on track.

In more extreme cases, it may be beneficial for the child to talk to someone completely unconnected with the family and situation. In order to keep additional stress and upset to a minimum however, we recommend someone familiar to the child like their teacher or school counsellor in the first instance.

Remember that you have no control over what is said and done while your children are with the other parent. Children hold an unconditional love towards both parents no matter who they are and what they may have done. It is therefore so important not to involve the children in your arguments and above all, never refuse any contact without an extremely good reason.

Sadly, a parents anger towards the other can potentially have detrimental effects on the children's ability to cope. Any arguments or discussions in front of the children, and refusal to allow contact for any reason, places the children in an extremely difficult position. For older children, never decide for them as to which parent they should live with or when and how often they should see the absent parent or family. Always allow the children to express their own views and you should take these into consideration when making final decisions.

On the other hand, children have a clever knack of playing one parent off against the other. The most common example of this is when discipline is needed by the parent with whom the child lives with and they threaten to "move out" if they do not get their own way. Although easier said than done, you must stand your ground as more often than not these are idle threats anyway. If you give in then problems could develop later as a result.

Contact us if you require any further advice, guidance or information.

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