Our parenting coach, Lena Engel, advises some practical first steps to help smooth the path to living separately.
Separation and divorce are all too often extreme and painful experiences in the lives of the adults involved, but they can be just as upsetting and earth-shattering for children in the family.
Despite the wide range of circumstances that have driven you to decide to separate, it is important not to forget that the decision was yours - the adults in the relationship. The children cannot be blamed and should not be burdened at second hand by any of your feelings of guilt.
What does this look like in practice?
If parents separate, it may be because the relationship has broken down and there appears no likelihood of being able to work out difficulties.
In most of these cases, there may be court agreements and arrangements put in place so that both parents have access rights to the children and have shared care. In some special cases where there are abusive relationships, one parent may have permanent care but the other parent may have supervised access.
All these different arrangements are likely to cause stress to each of the parents and thereby place additional unseen stress on the children.
Timescales and arrangements
Expectations for children’s care and behaviour
Disagreements and emotional development
Parenting Coach, Lena Engel