Separated Fathers inc.
Keep your balance in the separation
Preparing the child for separation
It is essential to prepare the child for separation or divorce, by explaining the reasons and what he/she should expect. It is also very important to reassure the child about the the continuity of the links with both parents.
Providing insufficient explanation to the child increases the risk that the child will assume responsibility for the separation or divorce. This is the reason many children feel a sense of guilt for many years.
This guilt gives rise to insecurity, anxiety and significant behavioral problems. It is therefore best to dissuade the child's notion of being responsible, by telling him/her he/she has no part in the decisions made by the adults.
The child may also feel responsible when the child is told "we separated for your benefit." It is therefore imperative that the present situation be well presented and to verify what the child understood and what his/her concerns are. The information transmitted must be clear and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
To help the child before separation
reassure the child about the unconditional love of both parents;
secure and inform;
prepare for the changes ahead of time (taking into account the child's age);
encourage expression of the child's feelings concerning the upcoming separation;
do not include the child within the conflict (whether emotional, legal or financial).
respect that the fear is real for your child. Don’t belittle your child or make fun of him.
try not to reinforce the fear by being scared yourself.