Separated or Separating Parents

What I can offer you …

Help to make decisions and reach an agreement about the care of your children
Help to improve the quality of your parenting relationship and communication going forward
Help to keep your ‘parenting partnership’ on a positive track

Separated or separating parents

If you and your (ex) partner are in the process of separating or have already separated and you want help in your decision making process about the care of your children, I can help.

I am an accredited Family Mediator in Northland, contracted to Family Works to provide Family Court mediation. Family Court mediation is free if you qualify, and very reasonable if you don’t.

Separating is almost always a high stress time!

There are so many difficult decisions to make. There are often financial worries. It can be an emotional rollercoaster for parents.  But remember the children! They are also going through heaps of change, experiencing loss of security (even if they are too young to understand). They may be feeling afraid or confused, fighting more, having tantrums, and other strong emotional reactions or just be super clingy.

How will the kids fare after family breakdown?

The most important factors that determine how well kids will fare after family breakdown are:

  • how well you and your ex treat each other while you are separating
  • how well you keep your adult conflict issues away from the children
  • the quality of your parenting relationship and communication going forward

What can you do to help your children?

Learn to keep your ‘parenting partnership’ on a positive track. This will help to prevent your kids from getting caught up between you and your ex. This may sound crazy, but it is vitally important to protect the ‘parenting partnership’ – because that parenting relationship is actually your children’s safety net. Get help to deal with any communication difficulties you have with your ex about parenting.

Manage your own stress and get yourself back on an even keel as soon as you can. When your children see you handling life in a balanced way they will feel more secure and less anxious.

Separation can have a profound effect on your children

Children need to feel loved by their parents and feel free to love them both

Never ‘dis’ or openly criticise the other parent in front of children. Remember- your children are made up of 50% you and 50% the other parent. Make sure that your family, whanau and friends also understand the importance of not criticising your ex in front of the kids.

If there is a safety issue

If your ex is violent or unpredictable, get help immediately to get safe or make a plan for your own safety and the safety of your children. Contact the Police or Women’s Refuge or Shine to get help.

Resources and good books

Parenting Apart: How Separated and Divorced Parents Can Raise Happy and Secure Kids by Christina McGee, (Penguin, 2010) is in the Whangarei library.