During a separation, if it is not too violent, it is important to preserve the children. Here are some ideas that we wanted to share with you.
The bond has lived, the separation is coming. Necessary or not, wanted or not, this break is now your reality. We will not go into the details of what all this represents for you as an individual: it is certainly painful, complicated, exhausting. No, today we will be interested in the fact that you are a parent: how to protect your children from everything that happens and everything that will happen next? These are some points we share with you and that will help you.
If possible, avoid pushing your children to make a choice between their two parents. The event is huge, for you as for them. And maybe more for them. So reassure them. Tell them both parents love them. Nobody disowns them or forgets them. It’s just life that takes a new path, but their parents will continue to protect them. And, if possible, try to have at least one neutral speech, if not a positive one, when you talk about the other (the dad or mom you are separating from).
Now that they know that this separation is not due to them, and that both parents continue to love them, it is their turn to express themselves: encourage your children to talk openly about their emotions. Make them feel free, not afraid … just so they can express their fear, or their anger, or their misunderstanding. Listen to them without interrupting them. Answer their questions honestly, adapting your speech to their age. Talk to them about certain things, but also about things that are not so good, but always trying to show the positive side: new home, relationship with old friends, the other parent always present and accessible, etc.
Never use your children as an intermediary, messenger or, worse, as a spy. They are your children, protect them, do not enjoy them. It is not a question of denying your own suffering. It is simply not to deny theirs either and to do everything not to add to their pain and distress. Your children need to be able to love both parents, so accompany them. Give them support and guidance, especially in this difficult situation you are living. If possible, protect them and do not hold them responsible for the separation of their parents. And, most importantly, make them understand that they continue to have two parents, even after separation.