Why am I writing this? Well my parents separated when I was 5yrs of age when my father left me and my 2 sisters to live with another woman. My mother forced ‘parental alienation’ onto me so I didn’t see my father again until I was 15yrs by which time I had built up a lot of hatred and loathing towards him and my stepmother. I did come around to my own way of thinking fortunately but I still recall the feelings of guilt; not fitting in; confusion and abandonment. No child should ever have to endure that.
Most divorced or separated parents mean well and recognize the importance of the children having a healthy relationship with both parents. A child who is brought up in this environment are better equipped emotionally and psychologically to cope with parents not living together and are more likely to develop healthy relationships of their own as they grow up. Mindfulness techniques can help in these situations.
Unfortunately, I have seen many children suffer needlessly due to the naïve behaviour from parents, so I am giving below some helpful advice. This is intended with the best interests and welfare of the child(ren) at heart. The added benefit of course is that there is less likelihood of involving courts and associated legal costs.
If you are thinking of separating, seek out professional advice on how to tell your child(ren). Here is how some children respond at different ages:
Children under two. At this age, a child might respond by becoming irritable, fearful, clingy or waking up during the night.
Preschool-age children. A preschool-age child might need extra help understanding that he or she didn't cause the divorce and that nothing he or she does can bring you and your ex back together. Boys might become aggressive or defiant toward their mums and girls might become insecure and distrusting of men.
School-age children. At this age, children might express more anger. They might worry about what will happen to you and your ex, look to assign blame and fantasise about you getting back together.
Adolescents. An older child might act out, become depressed or worry that he or she will also get divorced someday. Teenagers might question their beliefs and consider risky behaviour.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP MINDFULLY:
There is so much more I could write on this but I hope this helps for now.
I am available to help with emotional problems from individual parents. www.helenafone.com
I also offer mindfulness classes. If your child is suffering from anxiety, I have an e-book on the subject that might help that you can buy from here….. www.eftandmindfulness.com/products.html