Often when two people don’t get on then it’s very difficult to make things right and no matter how hard both or one party tries it’s sometimes best to let go and move on.
Unfortunately, when children are also involved then splitting up can be one of the hardest things in the world and often hits the kids much more than we’d even dare to think about.
Below are a few words of wisdom as to how to tackle this difficult time while thinking of the little people in both of your lives and if you’ve both reached the end of the road then please try not to forget that your children are just starting out on theirs.
Although a married couple’s communication channels may have broken down this by no means that children shouldn’t be allowed to know what’s going on. Discussing how to talk to kids may sometimes require the skills of an expert or an intermediary however, if both of you can try to keep calm and allow your kids the chance to ask difficult questions then you’ll be treating them with the utmost respect that they deserve.
When meeting up again after time apart being polite and civil is often something that couldn’t be further from our minds however, for the sake of the children, this needs to happen. Kids see you both as their parents no matter if you’ve grown apart and if they see that you’re being rude, difficult or just impolite then they’re bound to react in the same way. Be above the petty squabbles or the tremendous hurt and simply be polite to each other in front of your children.
Don’t talk behind backs
If you’ve got to the stage where you’re living apart and the kids are either coming for a visit or you’re going out on a day trip then don’t feel that you have the right to talk about your ex-partner behind their back. Children will pick up on moods, words and gossip so be aware that you want to treat your child’s ears with the utmost respect and don’t start to turn them against your ex-partner as it may sometimes back fire and go against you.
Definitely the best policy where children are involved is a semblance of honesty and even if a few little white lies are sprinkled over a situation for protective purposes, the essential ingredient to explaining what’s going on with mummy and daddy has to be the truth. Kids are stronger and more intelligent than a lot of us give them credit for and by sitting down and remaining calm you may be surprised by how they treat this new and difficult situation.
Try to be fair
Often more arguments can ensue by one or both parties wishing to get more of the deal than the other. This sort of unbalance can often result in someone feeling aggrieved and wanting to fight back and take a little bit extra rather than seeking a balance. Be it material goods or the time that you get to spend with your children, trying to plan and be fair is essential for maintaining a positive outcome and alleviating the need for any longer-lasting bitterness.
It’s not a competition
Your child’s love is unequivocal so don’t think that you’re in a competition to see who can get the most or to consider yourself as the best as opposed to your former spouse. Presents, day trips and new clothes are all means of expressing your love although sometimes it’s just simply sitting down and watching TV together or reading a book at bedtime that matters the most to a child. Just remember that no matter how much cash you flash your child will not love you any more or less than your partner.
Set out guidelines
If you’re still on speaking terms with your ex then best advice is to work out some ground rules for seeing and being with the kids. Remembering that you’re not fighting for their attention but still need to work together to raise a well-balanced human-being is essential for parents and making sure you set out some rules is also the perfect way to allow you both to know where you stand.
It can be really tricky for a child to understand what’s going on, especially when mummy or daddy moves out of the family home. If the partner who’s moved away can quickly build a sanctuary for the kids in the form of a bedroom with familiar toys and photos of both mum and dad then this gives them a greater chance of beginning to find normality in what can be a chaotic time. School runs, bedtimes, homework still need to be undertaken as normally as possible and it doesn’t matter who does it but things need to be kept up so kids can hang onto a semblance of day to day life.
Find an outlet
If you find yourself suddenly thrust into the world of single holidays and meals for one then learning to love again can seem extremely far from where you find yourself right after a break up. It’s essential to remain strong for the kids but if you find yourself having a good old cry then allow them to understand the reasons why without being too hard on your former partner. Best advice is to find someone who you can talk to that will allow you to unleash your fears and emotions without having to burden your children. This can be a very hard time to deal with but cope you must and the stronger you can become through talking through your worries then the better you’ll be for the kids.