COPING WITH CHILDREN AFTER SEPARATION
Children can react in very different ways to separation and divorce. The way
they react depends on a number of issues, including their age at the time and
the degree of conflict or animosity between parents. This is a stressful period
for children, but most recover and end up leading normal healthy lives. Their
adjustment is enhanced when parents remain sensitive to the children's needs.
Separation is often a surprise for children and they often experience many of
the same feelings as adults. Children can also grieve for a long time. Children
may unconsciously grieve the loss of their parents' relationship for many years
and maintain a fantasy that their parents will one day reunite. They may have
been unaware of the problems their parents were having and may feel shocked and
confused when the separation occurs. They may also feel insecure and worry
whether the remaining parent will leave them as well.
Children have to deal with a range of changes and adjustments as a result of
their parents separating. Changes in family lifestyle, rules and discipline.
There may also be a lot of other changes eg., new house, new school. Invariably
a lot of adjustment is required. Although parents are often upset and confused
at this time, it is important to try to understand what your children are going
through and to consider their feelings as well.
Support is available.
A self-help quiz for separated parents
Parenting Information Booklet:
What About the Children?
Online Relationship Support
Partners and Parents
Turning Points in Relationships
What About the Children?
Relationship Support Services
Counselling is available to parents and children to assist children after
separation. This can include reading material to help parents, to increase their
awareness of issues faced by children and how to respond to them.
Mediation is available to assist parents to resolve conflict that effects
children and help to make appropriate arrangements for the care of children
after separation, this includes
This information is provided by Relationships Australia who are
Australia's leading provider of professional services to support relationships.
It is a not-for profit community based organisation. Our Mission: Relationships
Australia is committed to enhancing the lives of communities, families and
individuals by being the leading professional provider of quality relationship
support services. Our Goals: To work in partnership with others to ensure a
society which supports positive and respectful relationships; To serve a more
diverse range of clients; To provide relevant services that meet the needs of
clients; To adopt business practices that enable the delivery of efficient and
effective services; To ensure a positive work environment that delivers outcomes
for clients; and To be financially robust to achieve our goals.
You can contact the national office of Relationships Australia on 1300 364
277 to find your closest state branch.