Separation can be a stressful and challenging time for spouses, and it is easy to get caught up in the conflict and forget the effect that it can have on children. During this period, one parent may choose to live away from the family as a permanent solution is being sought. Children, especially those below teenage years, usually sense the tension between the parents during this period.
If a separation is not handled in the right way, it can affect their behavior, as well as their social and academic life. It is essential to make sure that the effects of the conflicts with your partner do not spill down to your children. Here are some of the ways that you can achieve that.
Communicate openly with the children
Many times children blame themselves for the separation or divorce of their parents, and this can significantly affect their behavior and growth. You should make a point of communicating openly with your children and assuring them that the separation has nothing to do with them. This can influence the way in which the children deal with the situation. Also, ensure that neither parent talks negatively about the other to the children, regardless of the mistakes that have been made. This can negatively affect their relationship with the other parent.
Introduce change cautiously
The separation between you and your partner is too much change for your children to handle within a particular time. Let them adjust to the idea of not living with both parents before introducing other changes like a new partner, new school, or even a new neighborhood. Give the children space to go on with their normal lives, go to school, engage in games, go hiking, and all other fun activities they are used to. This way, they will be in a better position to handle the separation and any other changes that may be coming along.
Plan with your partner
The only way you can make things easy for your children during a separation period is talking it out with your partner and coming up with a plan. This should involve ensuring that each parent gets adequate time to spend with the children. Depending on the level of the conflict, sometimes both parents can participate in their children's activities together to create a sense of family. Remember, unlike adults, children may not calculate the amount of time each parent spends with them, but they will notice the tension between you.
These tips will help you to minimize the effects of the conflicts to your children as you decide on the way forward. You can also seek the counsel of a family attorney if you are unable to come to agreeable terms with your partner.