You know that breaking up with your partner is unavoidable, it just cannot go on any longer. Terrible, because everything you’ve believed in is now bound to dissipate. For a mother or a father, the greatest concern is the well-being of children: how will they cope? Will they survive the break-up? Are they now “divorce children”, will they be harmed? This is terribly tormenting for parents who break up, and usually the bad conscience gnaws at both parents.
Separation is a dramatic event for a child that can challenge all his trust and beliefs: Mom and Dad are always there for me. Really, even now? Mom and Dad love me. Or do they, even if one of them moves out? That’s what parents are aware of, that’s what drives them and moves them deep in their hearts.
There are several ways to support a child through the breakup of their parents.
The first one is a realization: a marriage where parents only argue is painful for all involved, including the children. Children quickly notice when something is wrong and suffer from it. So, if there’s nothing left between the partners, from the childrens´ perspective, a good separation is probably better than a family in trouble.
The second way of support is you feeling fine/at ease with yourself. Then your child can regain its confidence in the situation. The message you´re conveying to your children is: It’s not like it used to be, but I’m fine, and I can take care of you. So, take good care of yourself, try to overcome the grudges of separation constructively. Get involved in your new life, and if that’s hard for you, seek help.
The third way of supporting your children during breakup is: be attuned to your children, see their needs and fulfill them. Listen to them, pay attention, give them the extra cuddle in the evening. This will strengthen your child’s confidence in the new situation: a great deal has changed, but I’m important to Mom and Dad, they love me and take care of me. This is essential and very calming.
And finally, the fourth suggestion is for you to try and develop a constructive relationship with your ex-partner aimed at giving everyone theirspace. That may be difficult at first, but it is possible. A new life with new rules, with constructive agreements on holidays and birthdays, with possibilities of patchwork. All of this can open up. Even over a breakup situation it is possible for you to grow as a person.
That is good for your child and for you.
Picture credits: Pixabay/Jill111