Your relationship has broken down, and you find yourself and partner making the difficult, yet ultimate decision, that you both have to go your separate ways. It’s difficult enough to make this decision when all you have to think about is the effect parting will have on your life, however it’s even more difficult when there are children in the picture. The following points are things to consider when faced with separation. However, it is not an exhaustive list, only guidance, and a good starting point. When considering ways to remain in your child’s life after separation, the paramount consideration should be the welfare of any children that relationship has created. Of course both parents welfare is also important, however as adults it is your responsibility to protect your children, and ensure they don’t lose any more than they already have.
Respect Your ‘Ex’
You may have parted on good or bad terms, however you must remember that your ‘ex’ is still the parent of your child, and that any ill feelings towards them will place your child in an uncomfortable position. Your child may well have their own thoughts and feeling to deal with, so adding to this with negative views or comments is probably not the best step forward. Remember you had good times as well as bad, and that although you have parted, you can still remain on speaking terms, without the petty games taking precedent over the feelings your child may be experiencing. Remember… you are the adults, lead by example.
Time for your kids
The phrase ‘part-time dad’ is not a fictitious concept that has been made up over the years. It comes from the fact that so many fathers, through a number of reasons, only see their children on a part-time basis.
It can be appreciated that there are a number of reasons why fathers don’t get to see their children as much as they should/ want to, and these reasons may include children moving further away with their mother/ other parent; and both parents being unable to remain civil with each other, where as a result barriers are put in place regarding visiting times. The key here however, is to remain as civil as possible, and if feelings are still fresh with ex’s, make alternative arrangements that minimizes contact between both of you.
You may eventually be at the point where you’re now back in the market to form a new relationship, and have met someone as a result, however although this is a natural process, try and consider the impact this will have on your children’s lives. Although your happiness is important, try not to force your new found feelings onto your children. It is very important that you are able to move on, as one day your children will grow up and start their own families.
The last thing you want as your children grow, is to be left behind, wishing you had taken your chances as they surfaced. This is a very sensitive issue; however the key is to introduce a new partner into your children’s lives sensitively. The last thing they want is to feel pressurised to call your new partner ‘mum’, therefore a sensitive approach is needed by slowly introducing your partner into your children’s lives, as if you push too hard, too soon, you may be pushing your child further away.
Although the above points are key factors to consider when you’ve split from your partner, there are many more issues that could create problems within relationships between parents and children after separation. However, as long as children’s needs remain paramount, and their thoughts and feeling about the situation are considered, this will give them a sense of worth due to the fact their feelings have been taken into account. So much change has already taken place in their lives, now it’s time to give them a sense of stability.