Emotional Support for Children During Parental Separation or Divorce

Emotional Support for Children During Parental Separation or Divorce

At Lawson-West Solicitors, we understand what an incredibly challenging position parents find themselves in when they are going through a divorce or separation, especially when children are involved.

Whilst parents are experiencing their own emotions and practicalities of their relationship breakdown, they must also manage and be alive to their children’s feelings about the sudden change in circumstances and the new way of life.

How will my children be impacted?

Studies show that the breakdown of a relationship does not, in itself, cause harm to children. However, often their parents’ emotions will be heightened, which can make matters more complicated. Children are much more astute than they are often given credit for, and will pick up on cues from their parents, making them feel confused and anxious. Sadly, in some cases, children may blame themselves for the breakdown of their parents’ relationship. That is why it is so important to provide as much support and reassurance to the children as possible.

The NSPCC have offered some excellent practical advice on this issue. They recommend:

“To support children during a separation and help them with their worries, you should:

  • remind them that they're loved by both parents

  • be honest when talking about it but keep in mind the child's age and understanding

  • avoid blame and don't share any negative feelings the adults have about each other

  • keep up routines such as going to school and specific meal times

  • let them know they can talk about their feelings with you – explain that it's okay to be sad, confused or angry

  • listen more than you speak – answering questions will help them to open up.”

Below are some links/contacts that we here at Lawson-West think you might find helpful when navigating your separation and your children’s wellbeing as a result of it.

Childline : 0800 1111

NSPCC : Helping Your Child Cope with Your Divorce or Separation | NSPCC

Families Need Fathers – helpline 0300 0300 363 :  Families Need Fathers - Home (fnf.org.uk)

Gingerbread : help for single parents – 0808 802 0925 Home | Gingerbread

Relate : counselling services Home | Relate

Family Mediation Council  : Home - Family Mediation Council

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