Home and Family
A Network of Care: Keeping Our Children Supported During the Divorce Process
- Sasha Alison
- 0 Comments
- April 26, 2023
When we go through the separation process, we can feel like we’re doing everything we can to keep it together, but a lot happens to us when we separate from our partners, not least a lot of emotion and conflict. Therefore, it’s understandable that we want to protect or shield our children during this time, but it’s important to remember that they should feel supported as well. How can we help our children feel supported during the separation process?
Do Not Put Your Child in the Middle
It could be very easy for us to use our children as currency during the divorce or separation process. Most of us have trouble thinking straight, especially when the family solicitors are involved, but we have to maintain decorum and not argue. It’s far better for us to make it easier, not just for the sake of our children, but for ourselves, by planning some tactics in advance so we don’t lower ourselves to the point where we feel like we either need to defend ourselves or start arguing our point.
Work as a Team
Unless it’s not safe to do so, you have to co-parent to the best of your abilities. Look at it from the child’s perspective and take the focus away from your or the co-parent’s feelings. Conflict is something that can bubble up underneath this and something as little as a backhanded compliment can make us feel like we have to say something. But we need to set those ground rules to avoid conflict later on. For example, you should agree on places and times the children will visit and how you can keep in touch during those times. Children need support from both parents, so if they see you both working well together, this will make them feel more secure. Children will feel a greater degree of anxiety during the separation process and we need to do our best to reduce this where we can.
Acknowledge Their Feelings
The best thing to do is to communicate with your child regularly. It sounds so obvious, but you can be consumed with fighting for your rights during this process that you can almost forget to check in with your kids. The best thing you can do is to make a habit of regular communication and just see how your child is feeling. They’re not always going to tell you how they feel, but if they are reticent to reply, you’ve got to respect the boundaries. Non-verbal support, for example, a hug, can do a lot as well.
Think About the Big Picture
It is tough when we’re in a challenging spot in life because we can struggle to look beyond the next week or month, but there will be a time when everybody will have a happier life and there will be some sense of decorum. It is not an easy thing to do in the slightest because we can feel that we are hurting our children by doing this, but we have to remember that our kids are resilient creatures. It may be difficult now, but it works out.