Parenting through Separation
Understanding your child’s feelings is the first step to parenting through separation. These feelings should not have been discussed with your child before. Most children are open to receiving the message, but they may not be able process it immediately. This guide will help to understand the reactions of different children to the topic. It also includes useful language to use while talking to your child.
Children will pick up on your differences of opinion. You can use this opportunity to get your children to express themselves by allowing them to tell you. They will learn to feel confident and independent in themselves as they grow. When your children are older, they will have better understanding and be more understanding of the reasons behind your decisions. Nevertheless, they can still sense your differences of opinion and will need emotional support. Keeping your cool and letting them make up their minds will go a long way.
Your child will sense your differences in opinion about the circumstances and will develop their own opinions. Try to avoid giving your child a voice by giving him or her space to express their feelings. You may be tempted to tell them that you don’t like their decision, but that is not a good idea. Instead, give your child some space and praise her/his choices. This will allow you to show your child you are sensitive to their feelings.
While you will need to be open with your child, a smile and positive vibes can go a long distance. This is particularly important at events where you might be away from the children, such as change-over or school awards ceremonies. It is important to try to be as happy as possible while your child is away from you. You can also take some time for yourself, such as meditation or deep breathing. Just remember to be respectful of their feelings and keep your cool during the time of separation.
A course on parenting through separation is also available on-line. You can participate in a free workshop by registering at the University Center for the Child and Family. Once you’ve registered, you will be given a link to the presentation. The link is provided after registration and confirmation of your participation. The workshop is offered at noon Eastern Standard Time. It is a free online webinar. To participate, you must register. You will receive an email confirmation after you have registered.
During the first few weeks, your child will ask several questions. It is important to assure your child that this is not an issue. They will ask the same questions over, and you need to be honest and calm with them. Keep your answers positive and simple if you feel anxious or overwhelmed. If you are unsure how to answer their questions you can meditate or take a break.
Talking to your child at the right time is key. Children are sensitive and may try hiding their feelings. It’s best to talk to your child on a daily basis. If your child feels a sense of loss, try to avoid letting them know that you care and will be there for them no matter what happens. Your child will be able to better understand their parents and what they are going through.
During the first few days of separation, it’s important to stay calm and try to avoid angering your children. It’s easy to get upset or angry, but a child’s feelings are usually hidden. Encourage them to let their emotions out as often as possible. If they feel embarrassed about themselves, it might be time to seek professional assistance. You should be able to communicate with your ex without escalating the situation.
Respect your ex-spouse should be your main concern. Your children will pick up on your differences and form their own opinions as they get older. It is better to let your children make their own decisions and not to interfere with them. Even if you don’t like your ex, it is possible to remain respectful and reassuring for the child. It is important to be yourself. You will be able avoid any fights between you and your ex-spouse.