EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN
When couples divorce or separate, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for the children involved, they will need a lot of emotional support.
For younger children, they may find it hard to express how they’re feeling and may wonder if it was their fault mum and dad split up. They may hear some arguments over child arrangements and blame themselves for being in the middle.
For older children, they may be more able to understand but can still feel affected by the split. These feelings may grow when other relationships form after the split. Feelings of jealousy or betrayal may be felt when a parent starts seeing someone else.
My parents are separating what should I do?
Sometimes, parents decide that they are not going to be together anymore and that they want to separate or get a divorce. It’s important to know that it’s not your fault that your parents are separating and that with the right support, your parents will be able to make a plan that has your best interests at heart.
What happens next?
Your parents will need to decide where they both will live and then along with you, they will need to decide how you will share your time with your parents – if it is safe for you to do so.
They will have to sort out other things like how to share their property and money, and if they are married then they will need to sort out a divorce as well, but all of these things take time and the most important thing is to make sure that you are safe and looked after.
If you need more emotional support and would like to speak to someone, you can call Childline on 0800 1111. There is a lot of useful information about family separation, written for children on the Childline website here.
Help is available:
The Suitcase Kid
Popular children's author Jacqueline Wilson has used her considerable skill to produce a book for primary age children that deals with the issues that matter to them when their parents divorce.
Following the experiences of Andrea and her toy rabbit Radish, we share her fears and woes, and eventual triumph as she navigates the problems of living part of her time with her father and his new family and part of the time with mother.
Wilson does not shy away from the dark aspects of children's lives, but is careful to ensure that the story has an uplifting finale.
Definitely a volume for reading and for discussion - perhaps a way into discussion about your child's emotions, to enable the connection and coaching spoken of in 'Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child'.