31 Jan Children and Separation – General (Tip sheet for parent/s)

  • Story of when children were born to parents. If true, that children were born to parents because they loved each other and they wanted to have the children.
  • What have children been told about the parents separation and what are the children understanding

Children may experience

  • Confusion
  • Frightened
  • Worries about mother and dad
  • Think that it is his/her fault for parents separating
  • Could get caught up into blaming one parent over the other (Loyalty dilemma)
  • Can the child show both parents that she or he has happy times with both parents?
  • Can the child show one parent that she or he misses the other parent?


Help the child with drawing the homes before and now, and people in the homes

Worry – box

Help children create a worry box for each home to place worries they may have. Every few days sit down and go through the children’s and grownups worries.

Happy- box for each home

to place happy things, thoughts, etc. Repeat as per worry-box.

Emotional expression between siblings

It is possible that there may be fighting between siblings. – Quite often children express their emotions with siblings, as this is much easier for them, rather than with parent/s. Help children recognise and help them to put words to their feelings/confusion.

Emotional expression -if an only child

At times children and parent/s have a tendency to relate as siblings. This means that the child has either entered the adult’s domain or the adult has entered the child’s domain. In either scenarios, the adult has lost the parenting position of being the ‘wiser, stronger, kinder’ and able to hold the child’s emotions.

Weekly tracking

Parent/s and children draw picture, or word or story about what was good during the week; what was not so good; and what worries they may have had or still have.

For more information please make contact.

Child & Family Therapy Counselling Service is an independent counselling and family therapy centre operated by Angela Ranallo, a qualified Clinical Social Worker, Child & Family Therapist and accredited Mental Health Social Worker specialising in Children and Young People Counselling - Parenting Support and Family Counselling - Relationships & Couples Counselling - Adult Mental Health - Trauma Therapy and Clinical Supervision and Training.