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  • Writer's pictureTemara Willis

Talking to Children About Separation

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

A family engaged in a thoughtful conversation, symbolising the importance of discussing separation with children. Navigating this delicate conversation is explored in the blog by Adelaide Family Mediation.

Facing the complexities of separation is undoubtedly challenging, especially when children are involved. Initiating a conversation with them about the changes can be tough, as children may grapple with guilt or uncertainty. Some may yearn to discuss it, while others may prefer to avoid the topic altogether. In this delicate situation, the question arises: What happens if you don't talk to your children about separation?


The Urgency of Communication


If you find yourself separated from your child's other parent and hesitating to broach the subject, here's a piece of advice from someone who's been through it: Don't wait. Delaying the discussion about separation can make things more challenging for everyone involved. While it may be difficult initially, expressing your love can significantly help children navigate through this potentially tumultuous time.


Reassurance and Involvement


It's crucial for parents to reassure their children that they'll remain actively involved in their lives post-separation. Communicate to your children that both parents and grandparents unconditionally love them. While discussing separation is undoubtedly a tough conversation, it becomes even more challenging when you have limited information or time for preparation. Despite the uniqueness of each separation or divorce, addressing it with your children early on is essential.


Common Questions and Conversation Starters


Children may have a myriad of questions about their parents' divorce. Addressing concerns about seeing the other parent, living arrangements, maintaining friendships, family budget changes, and the fate of pets are vital aspects of the conversation. These questions, tailored to your child's age and awareness, serve as effective conversation starters.


Balancing Honesty and Timing


While some parents prefer full transparency from the start, others choose to reveal details gradually as the child matures. Regardless of your approach, certain reassuring statements can be made initially:


  • "It doesn't mean we love you any less."

  • "We'll still have time together."

  • "We're going to have time apart too."

  • "It doesn't mean I'm not your mum/dad anymore."

  • "You're still our favourite person."


Adelaide Family Mediation's Support


Adelaide Family Mediation understands the intricacies of communicating about separation with children. Our expertise lies in integrating key messaging into your parenting plan to ensure alignment and minimise confusion for your children. Even in separation, maintaining consistency and unity in your approach is crucial. We are here to support you through this challenging journey.


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