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Children Have To Cope With Changes In Families – But They Do Need Help!

Tags: bring up children, support, parenting, parent, raising, raise, kids, children, families, coping, changes, listening, expressing, feeling, new relationship, separating, divorce, advice
Categories: Becoming a Parent

When parents separate or form new relationships children have to face big changes in their world. Your children may seem happy enough at first, or at least not unhappy, and so understandably parents think everything is OK. However, children often think they can’t say how they feel because it will cause upset and so withdraw into themselves instead. It’s important to encourage your children to express their feelings of sadness even if you find it hard to listen to. If you let your children know it is OK to be sad about the separation rather than forcing them to be happy about their new situation they are far more likely to confide in you when it matters.

Children might start playing up to upset a new partner, the parent they no longer live with or you. This could be their way of showing any anger or worry they feel. While it's important to acknowledge their anger, it's also important that both parents set clear boundaries and try to give the same messages about what is acceptable in one home being the same as in the other.

You may be so busy coping with a new home or partner you miss smaller signs of your children’s feelings. Talking honestly with them about what is happening from the start and asking their views on what would help them cope is likely to help. If they're helped to feel part of what is going on they are more likely to accept the changes.

Use the cartoon as a start to think about these questions:

  • Do you listen to your children about how they are feeling?
  • How do your children show their feelings?
  • What things do you think your children will miss most as a result of the changes?
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