Advice Column, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting

How to care for children during divorce

  • South African Divorce Support Association
  • Category Advice Column, Health, Lifestyle, Parenting

Parents going through a divorce/separation are mostly always concerned about what it is going to do to the children and how to minimise the impact it will have on them.

If you want to minimise the negative impact of your relationship breakup on your children, you must first take care of yourself.

When going onto a plane, we are always given some safety instructions at first and one of them, in case of cabin de-pressurisation, is to first put on the oxygen mask yourself and then help the person next to you, because in all logic, if you are wanting to help someone else but you are not getting the oxygen yourself, you will struggle and possibly not even be able to help the person next to you. You will end up being the one needing help.

Same goes with a relationship breakup. Such an event brings a lot of emotions. Emotions which you may not have been prepared to deal with. Without taking care of yourself first, you will not be a prepared parent to assist your children. Many parents send their children to therapists at this time of high stress, and it is an avenue that is wise to take when you recognise some symptoms which you don’t know how to handle, but truth is, your children need their parents first and foremost at this critical point in their life. Not a stranger. So in order to properly be there for your children and take care of them during and after the divorce/separation, first you must take care of yourself.

Here are some recommended steps, specifics for parents going through a divorce.

Divorce & Co-Parenting Coaching

Divorce & Co-Parenting Coaching is highly recommended for parents concerned about their children’s well-being at this challenging time in their lives. It will allow you to make sense and process your emotions and receive help to help your children.

Divorce Mediation

Once you have your “oxygen mask” on, i.e, you are working through your own emotions, engaging into Mediation is the best way forward in finalising the details of your ending relationship while keeping an amicable environment for your children. If you think going to court and fighting a legal dispute is scary, imagine how your children must feel!

Parenting Plan

Equip yourselves with a good parenting plan. There is only so much that one can think of and manage by themselves. A Parenting Plan will assist you to have an overview of what your children need and how it can fit with your needs, now that you have two households to consider.

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