Let’s face it – relationship breakdown and family separation can be hard work! When children are involved it typically entails a period of disorganised family life for all members. The duration and intensity of the disruption may be influenced by your child’s age; the level of hostility between you and your ex-partner, family finances or your preparedness as parents to work together in resolving a multitude of parenting issues.
Parents and children alike can expect to experience a range of mixed emotions – and that’s perfectly normal.
When children are not involved the process of relationship breakdown and separation can never-the-less be a time of intense emotional upheaval. The fighting may/may not continue as one or both partners contend with intense feelings such as anger; sadness; grief or resentment. It may be that you are still in love with your ex and find it heart-wrenching to divide your belongings and prepare to move on alone.
Counselling offers you understanding amidst all the confusion. A trained professional can show you how to respond (rather than react) when you are under the influence of powerful emotions – and help you begin the process of coping and letting go so you can move forward with your life goals – or develop new ones.
Adjusting to Separation with Children
Everyone needs time to adjust to family separation...but how will you know if things are going well? Generally, when a family is free from violence or abuse, an important indicator of post-separation well-being for children and parents alike is the maintenance of equal or significant time with both parents across a range of week days - and little or no ongoing parental conflict. For most families this is a big ask. Separation is typically a time of heightened emotion, tension and disagreement – which means it’s not always easy to make rational parenting decisions…
Children Need Happy Parents
Separation and divorce have a bad reputation – particularly when children are involved. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Once you realise your couple’s relationship is over, counselling can help you make sense of your loss and adjust to the many changes to family life. Amid all the emotional upheaval and frustration, a trained professional can show you how to maintain a rational outlook and communicate your concerns to the other parent in a way that allows you both to move on peacefully.
What your child needs most is two happy parents
As parents you are best-placed to know what’s best for your child. Making child-focussed parenting decisions together, despite separation, means you are more likely to remain in control of your family’s future.
Northern Frontiers Counselling and Mediation offers individual and joint counselling (when assessed as appropriate) for parents wishing to improve or maintain their post-separation relationship. Family Dispute Resolution (more commonly known as Mediation) is also available for separated parents wishing to establish a Parenting Plan (otherwise known as a Parenting Agreement) outlining care arrangements for their child/ren. A Parenting Plan may include agreement around major parenting issues such as Time with Each Parent; Education; Parental Relocation; Medical Treatment; Religion; Child’s Surname, International/ Interstate Travel etc.
Signs your child may be hurting
Children may experience a range of quite powerful emotions that are both confusing and hard for them to deal with. When they can’t say what’s wrong they will most likely act out - making parenting more difficult.
If your child is displaying any of the following behaviours seek professional help as soon as possible.
Loss of trust in parents
Difficulty making and keeping friends
Loss of self-confidence
Poor school performance
Uncharacteristically bad behaviour
Loss of self-belief
Becoming overwhelmed by their feelings
Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
If you are concerned about your child’s adjustment to family separation seek professional assistance. A counsellor can help you build a secure parenting base and reduce the risk of long-term behavioural or mental health issues for your child.
Out of Hours Appointments: In addition to normal business hours 7.30am - 5.00pm weekdays, we offer weekend appointments on availability - which means there's no need to disrupt your work schedule. Out of hours appointments tend to fill fast so please book early to avoid disappointment. Simply call 1300 90 81 70 or email: email@example.com