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Children's health

16th Jun 2023

Expert tips on how to put your children ahead of your divorce

Clodagh McKeon

A divorce or split is a difficult process and understandably, it can be devastating for children.

It’s common for parents to try and stay in a marriage or relationship to benefit their children but sometimes divorce is the only option – and that’s okay.

Of course, as a parent, you worry about how a breakdown in your relationship will affect your child.

Despite the fact that it naturally will affect the children involved, there are things you can do to put your kids ahead of your separation that will ensure their feelings are heard and validated.

Here are expert tips on how you can support your children through your divorce thanks to ISPCC.

Do not fight or cause conflict with your ex-partner in front of them

Make a conscious effort not to bad-mouth your partner or argue in front of your kids.

This creates a bad atmosphere in the home and makes children feel as if they’ve to choose between parents which can weaken the relationship between you and your child.

Good communication between you and your ex is crucial

This can often be difficult to achieve, but maintaining a civil relationship with your ex-partner is vital for the well-being of your child.

It encourages them to have a relationship with both parents which in turn helps them deal with the break down in the relationship.

Try to minimise other major life changes

If possible, try not to make other drastic changes to you and your child’s life following a divorce. This is particularly important during the first year or two after a split.

This may include moving house or waiting to introduce your children to your new partner if that situation arrises.

The quality of your parenting matters

Although you may also be upset about the relationship split, keep making the effort to speak about it openly with your children.

Spending quality time with your kids will help make them feel safe and supported although, you must allow time for them to spend with your ex-partner too.

According to the ISPCC, research has shown that the quality of your parenting can have a protective effect on your child’s mental health during a divorce or split.

If you are in need of support or want support for your children, Rainbows Ireland is a voluntary service which offers free support programmes to help children and young people cope following parental separation and divorce.

One Family and Parentline are fantastic services.


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