Tips for Separated Parents

  • Remember what you once had, and try to separate this from where you are now. We often get the relationship we needed at that time. You are now different people. Remember what was good about the other.
  • Never discuss or criticise an ex partner in front of your children. Remember that you are co-parents for life. Respect each other in this situation. Children need to believe they are loved and strongly attached to both of you, even if you are no longer attached to each other.
  • Never use children as messengers. Find a way to communicate and sort out the information that affects childcare. Organise a way to review the necessary arrangements around education, health and your children’s individual future needs.
  • Pick your battles. Don’t focus on details that are historic to your past relationship, but may not be so relevant ongoing. It may be better to relinquish blame and criticism in order to get a point across and get your voice heard. Think of how best to get what you want without it sounding like a complaint.
  • If you need to express difficult feelings, find someone else outside the family. Your children should not hear criticisms. As long as the ex partner is the focus of rage and disappointment, you are still staying attached to them.
  • Remember: the opposite of love is not hate – the opposite of love is apathy

Christina Fraser

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