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10 tips to support your child after break-up

NellGC

NellGC

In 2020 Dad.info ran a survey asking 1000 separated parents about their experiences of divorce or separation and they generously shared their concerns and most importantly their tried and tested solutions. If you are looking for ways to save your children from being negatively effected by your divorce or separation then the below top ten tips based on hard won real-life experience are a must read.

1. Don’t weaponize the children 

“Don’t treat your children as bargaining chips to score points off each other.” 

“Do not use your children as weapons.  Your relationship with your child is not the same as the one with your ex.” 

2. Don’t badmouth your ex in front of the kids … 

“Children pick up on everything, try to keep disagreements and negative comments to yourself when the child is around.” 

“Don’t lie to your children but don’t badmouth your ex, they are still a loving parent.” 

3. …. and don’t allow others to either 

“Don’t try to brain wash them against the other parent and don’t allow your extended family to do this either.” 

4. Communicate

“We communicate regularly, exchange gifts and cards at birthday and Christmas.” 

“It is difficult, it can be upsetting at times but the main goal is the wellbeing of the children involved.. Maintaining a good relationship with the other party is important and from our perspective showed the children it doesn’t always have to be bad after a break-up.” 

5. Allow your child access to both parents 

“Don’t forget that the children love both parents and contact is very important to maintain sense of self and family relationships.” 

“Be fair. Try and keep calm and balanced. Time will heal wounds and your children need to see both parents.” 

6. Put the children first and make sure they don’t blame themselves 

“Make sure the child understands they aren’t the reason in anyway and that you love them. Put your feelings and emotions behind you and focus your efforts into being the best Dad you can possibly be.” 

“Do everything you can, make any sacrifice, to maintain your relationship with your children.” 

7. Respect your ex’s role as parent 

“I now have a fantastic relationship with her mum and she’s a great mum.” 

“Don’t forget that you are both responsible for your children. They are not your possessions. Nor are you babysitting when you have them. You are parenting.” 

8. Be Present 

“Work out ways to stay in contact directly and always check in with them to say hello so they know you are always thinking of them.” 

“Make them feel secure. Divorce or separation can feel like the safety net has been pulled away. Make them feel loved and time, quality time is what they want more than anything.” 

9. Deep breaths 

“Count to 10 in the bad moments with your ex and try hard to put the kids’ needs first. Just try afresh each day. You’ll get there.” 

10. Time heals 

“A long time has elapsed. We were both immature and young when we were married. Now all is forgotten and forgiven and we are good friends. We still exist as a family.”  

“We are still on friendly terms following initial animosity. We take joint decisions regarding the children and are mutually supportive emotionally.” 

For more support from other parents access our forum or why not read more about The Parents Promise – developed by an alliance of charities and relationship specialists it hopes to support you to start talking about how you’d co-parent if you separate after you have children.

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