How to parent while going through separation?

When a family is going through separation, it certainly is a turbulent time for children in such families. As parents would be undergoing so much stress, the children cannot stay unaffected entirely. There is array of emotions children go through according to psychologists. Acute feeling of loss and directionless, frustration, dejection, heartaches are few to mention.
Every parent, would want to protect their children from this pain and anguish. If both the parents, I say parents; not couples or partners because, for children they are just that- Parents. Expecting children to understand the adult grief and challenges is only unfair.

 

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I once had this lady, who was distraught due to her separation and forthcoming divorce. She vented her heart out to her 11-year-old son. As obvious as that, the kid was unable to cope with this adult grief and was getting into depression.
So, while you have taken a call to separate from your spouse, it is an adult call. This should affect the children as minimal as possible.
If both parents can work on below tips, surely, they can raise happy children.
6 tips to efficient parenting while separating

1. Avoiding face-offs!

A must! If your children can see you as a team, working and contributing to the family, they can grow into trusting individuals. Don’t get into arguments, hurtful comments in front of children.Parental alienation is the worst thing, you can do to your child.

2. Love them unconditionally!

Just like you always did. Don’t lay conditions on them, like I’ll love you better if you stop talking to your dad/mum. Children, need more love from you while separation and divorce are going on. Simply keep telling them that you love them and spend quality time with them.

 

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3. Consistent behaviour is the key!

As parents, you need to be consistent with their upbringing. While you are concerned about their wellbeing, don’t let them feel less accountable to their studies and other activities like cleaning the house, sharing chores etc.
If you and your partner are already living in separate houses, get the children share and be accountable. You be their parents throughout.

4. Secured and supportive environment!

Children need to feel safe in their homes and with their parents. While your love will reinforce their feeling of security, being understanding and supportive of their needs and opinions are important too. The feeling of abandonment sets in children too quickly before you realise. So, be careful how you project yourselves as parents.

5. Light hearted conversations!

A child will have lot of things to say during this time, when they are not sure what’s happening and what should they expect. Engage them in light hearted conversations. Without burdening them with bouts of emotions and concern about future.
Let them talk to you casually and ask questions. Answer them with an air of confidence. Children can see through that. If, parents are sounding confident, children automatically feel secured and confident.

6. Family and friends!

Your extended family of friends and relatives play an equally significant role in dealing with children. Ensure they keep talking positively to children. No scaring, no dilemmas, no drama. Get your best friend or your dad talk to your children. Generally, uncles, aunts and grandparents are children’s confidents.
The above are ones that I have seen working in many families. By no means, these are the only or best ways to parenting. Every family can build their own do’s and don’ts during their transition phase, keeping in view the welfare of the family.

Stressed Out due to Separation? LOOK AFTER YOURSELF

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Advices, Federal Circuit Court of Australia.The court suggests some real good tips to get on with your separation. Check them out here (presented as is):
Learn about your stressors and put changes in place to avoid them
Overuse of alcohol or medications usually make the situation worse
Operate in a positive way. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing something well
Keep focusing on the good, even in difficult situations
Accept the things that can’t be changed
Find time to relax
Talk to a friend or family member
Eat healthy meals
Realise that things will eventually get better
You can make a list of everything you enjoy doing
Ordinary is ok. Lower the bar!
Understand your body and recognise when you need extra help
Realise that there are only so many hours in a day
Seek the assistance of a doctor or counsellor
Energise with gentle exercise like a walk or a bike ride
Look for ways alter the situation and adapt to the stressor
Find a way to break your goals into small steps
Remember, you can’t give your best for your kids if you don’t look after yourself too.

 

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Courtesy: hashdoc.com
Getting Help to beat Separation Stress

Separation Stress directly reflects on various aspect of your life like health, social interactions professional life, and thoughts. Hitting around the same idea of “why is it happening to you?” will not help much. Instead, regain your life by getting help available from diverse sources. Such as,
1. Family Assistance office
2. Family Relationship Centres
3. Separation and divorce Counselling Centres
4. Legal advices from family lawyers
5. Mediators and collaborative lawyers
6. Workshops arranged by volunteering social workers
7. Community arranged talks

Separating families have a lot to lose, hence the stress and overbearingly cautiousness not to lose on anything. This fear and insecurities are for real reasons. If the above-mentioned assistance centres ca help you come to terms with your separation reality and if you can work out arrangements yourself, you need not to go to court. This saves you money, time and double stress because you don’t know what court may decide!
By the time, you file your divorce petition in court, you are already full of depression, despair, stress, anxiety, anger and frustration. The uncontrollability of the outcome from the court case, adds to all these troubled thoughts.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and abuse, reach out to domestic violence helplines immediately. The staff are trained to communicate empathetically, and effectively to provide support and solutions. They help you understand your personal safety strategiesand see through the signs of likelyabusive behaviour.
In case of domestic violence, get help for:
• Legal assistance
• Medical assistance
• Financial assistance
• Counselling
• Immediate need for accommodation
• Domestic violence redressal services
Instead of stressing you can get help for whatever family separation issues you have. Short term counselling by volunteer groups help you gain a new perspective. Sharing your concerns and frustrations, may help develop resilience and deal with the separation episode effectively.

Face your ex with Confidence and Empathy!

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Confidence, by now would have hit the rock bottom! Isn’t it? Relationship break down invariably does that to many people, I mean almost. There are lot of emotions raking up your mind, anger, hate, self-doubt, insecurity, loneliness. Add children to it, and you sponge up these hurtful emotions all by yourself! Not a promising idea, though.

The workshops or community get-togethers we do for couple undergoing turbulent times in their relationship, the first thing we tell them is to Sit down and Think. A very tough thing to do, but slowly, level headed thinking gives way to rational solutions.

This post is about how you can bring back your confidence (if you have lost one) and be empathetic towards your would-be ex!!

Anyone, going through relationship breakdown, goes through these stages of separation:

  1. Shock
  2. Anger
  3. Sadness
  4. Acceptance

These are the predominant emotions while separating.

There are some practical steps to regain your composure and confidence when you both think of separation. Your spouse or partner shares the same concerns as you do. He/she too is going through the same emotions that you are going through. Realising and accepting this from humane perspective will help you look at your partner empathetically.

Now, some practical things you both can do:

  1. Get help from your family and friends: may be financial, emotional or in day-to-day living.
  2. Have good look at your financial position.
  3. Sit and list out your expenses: current and those you expect to arise in near future.
  4. Work out a good plan for yourself and your children.
  5. Keep all the financial documents arranged for clear picture of your finances.
  6. Have an independent bank account.
  7. Don’t lose on family home. It’s excellent idea to let the children and their care taking parent stay in the family home.

When you start thinking in the direction to resolve the separation anxiety, you will realise that this is not that bad after all! Move on for better life.

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So, now when you are separated from your spouse and living an independent life, but still there are many settlements to do. What can you do to stay empowered and confident? Here:

  1. Make your kids feel secured during this transition. Make only necessary changes and avoid drastic changes in their routine as far as possible.
  2. Communication is the key. Communicate openly and respectfully with your ex. That was you both can resolve many issues smoothly and co-parent your children.
  3. Negotiations during settlement is very common. However, don’t ever go overboard. Be reasonable with your demands.
  4. If things are getting tough, get a trained mediator to facilitate the negotiations.
  5. Try knowing legal side of all your negotiations and settlements you are arriving at. Because, at the end of the day, the court should find your settlements legally enforceable and give consent. Unless, you are legally complying, your arrangements are null and void!

It’s not easy. But to keep yourself going, you need keep your head and heart balanced. Will keep sharing my experiences with separating couple. Stay hooked.