Once you’ve told your children that you and your partner are separating, you will need to be continuously aware of what is going on with them so be prepared for and watch out for the following:
- Questions, questions and more questions. These could come straight after you’ve told them of your intention to separate or it might take some time but children will ask what they need to know because they need to make sense of the situation. The thing to keep in mind here is that you need to answer their questions but do not promise them anything that you know you will not be able to deliver. Please don’t avoid answering their questions as a means of saving them from hurt or pain. If they ask any questions it’s because they are thinking about that particular issue. The risk you’re taking by not answering is that they will use their own imagination to “solve” that “mystery” and as we all know, children can be very creative! Always have that door open.
- Do ask them if they are alright when you see that they may not be. Well, not every 5 minutes as that would just be annoying but once in a while. You are your child’s expert so you will know if there is something disturbing them then and in the next few days. If their response is “nothing”, do acknowledge that but do let them know that you are aware that things have changed for them and you are there to talk about it if and when they need to. Keep in mind that children can have the worst timing ever so just as you are about to drop them off at school, the questions can come – stop, answer them as best as you can at that moment. Follow on when you see them again.
- If your children show anger when you tell them, know that it is normal and that it is a reaction to a sudden change in their world as they knew it. It’s not about you yet it may very well be directed to you. Contain their fears, anxieties and any other emotions that they show at that moment. If they cry, let them, don’t tell them to stop crying because it will be alright. Just let them cry, sob, wail if they need to and tell them that it will be alright.
- Depending on how old they are, you might find that they immediately want to go and phone a friend, very common with teenagers. Let them . Whatever happens don’t tell them to keep it to themselves, “for now”. That would not be fair to them at all. You might find that they will turn to those whom they feel closest to at the time and that might very well not be you. Do tell the school as they will need to be looked after both at home and at the place where they spend most of their waking hours.
If you are concerned about your child and would like to speak with me – then contact me here or give me a call on 07850 85 60 66
Not a journey to be taken alone.