six valuable facts about separation anxiety in families

Posted on April 22, 2016

Photo: flickr

1. Children cope better when they see a counsellor

Irrespective of a child’s age, they will feel the pull between both parents and can struggle to work through their emotions. Allowing your child to see a counsellor will help them with this. A counsellor will teach your child strategies to deal with anger, anxiety and conflict, as well as provide a safe neutral environment for the child to vent.

2. Parents must be united

Parents should prioritize caring for their children, and not let any issues that caused the relationship to break down interfere with this. Relationships Australia says parents should provide a “composed, united and reassuring” front.

3. Children react according to their parent’s emotions

It’s important for parents to keep boundaries in place for their child, and should always speak about one another with respect.
If you express negative feelings about your ex to your child, they will take on similar emotions. Colleen points out that if parents are upset, children are often bewildered, confused and despondent. They will also blame themselves for the situation.

4. Be honest

Although the way you speak to your child would depend on how old they are, i.e. you would explain it in a way they would understand, you should always be honest with them.

5. There are different ways to talk about separation

When Colleen is counselling a client whose parents have separated, she will use different methods depending on the child’s age, understanding and interests. For instance, an ‘anger thermometer’ is useful for younger children to explain how they feel.

6. Take care of yourself

While your children are a priority throughout a separation, you also need to take care of yourself. Give yourself the space and time to reflect and heal. Make sure you spend time with like-minded and supportive friends, and don’t be afraid to have fun. When you take care of yourself, you help your children to heal as well.

*Name changed for privacy purposes

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Category(s):Divorce / Divorce Adjustment

Source material from Watersedge

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