Communicate with your children
When a relationship finishes it’s natural to feel a wide range of emotions, including anger, betrayal, fear and grief. When there are children involved the break up is even more complicated, because you also need to support them through this very upsetting time whilst probably having to stay in contact with your ex.
It’s important to remember that your child will be experiencing many of the same feelings as you, along with a lot of confusion about what’s going on. However hard it is, you need to be as consistent as possible and reassure them that although things will be different, they still have both parents.
It’s also important to let them know that they are not to blame for the break up and give them the opportunity to talk and ask questions. That said, children don’t need to know all the gory details of a break up so think about what information you want to share and the impact it can have on them long term.
How to go about with the situation
Even though your partner may have hurt you, they are still your child’s parent, so try not to say hurtful things about them or turn your child against them.
Your child may become angry and frustrated during this time, and it’s ok to give them space to express that anger. Sports or other physical activities can help, or you could consider counselling. It’s a good idea to speak to your child’s school so they know what’s happening and can provide extra support if the break up impacts on their learning or social activities.
Where possible, try to keep things consistent and stick to the same rules and routines you had when you and your partner were still together. Children need consistency at the best of times, but this is even more important during a time like this. Ensure you give your child plenty of reassurance and affection and let them know that they are still very loved by you and your ex partner.
With the right support, a child can come through the breakdown of their parents’ relationship as a positive, well-rounded and empathic individual.
If you need to apply for child maintenance to help pay for your child now you are on your own, you can do so online here.