09 Aug Hey kids we need to chat!
When parents separate they have the difficult task of explaining their decision to their children. Young or old, children are generally affected by their parent’s decision to separate and having a conversation like this needs to be age-appropriate as children at different ages have different cognitive and emotional needs.
For young children, it can be hard to understand their parent’s relationship is difficult but they will understand that one of their parents will no longer be at home and that they will begin to spend time between two homes. With young children, often the primary issue is the anxiety they experience after being separated from one or either of their parents.
Children often require assurance that they can contact the other parent whenever they feel the need to do so.
It is important to maintain consistency wherever possible as children benefit from similar rules and expectations in Mum and Dad’s homes, especially in the early stages of separation.
With older children, it is sometimes important to explain to them that they are not the cause of their parent’s relationship breakdown. It’s not uncommon for older children to believe that they have, in some way, caused the relationship to deteriorate.
If you have separated and feel that your children would benefit from additional support we have recommended the following services to our clients:
• Interrelate Hunter, 495 Hunter Street Newcastle – 1300 473 528
• Relationships Australia NSW, 4/6 Heddon Rd, Broadmeadow – 1300 364 277
• Uniting Counselling and Medication Unifam Program, Level 3, 19 Bolton Street Newcastle – (02) 4925 6000
• East Maitland Counselling and Mediation, 106 George Street East Maitland – (02) 4934 8624
All families are different and the cause of separation is unique to each family. We always recommend that along with counselling you seek independent legal advice that is appropriate to your specific circumstances. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance.