31 Jan Children relationship with separated parents

The parents usually indicate that they want the children to have a good relationship with the other parent.

To achieve this, it would be helpful for the children to be encouraged by each parent to minimise any interest and involvement in the details of parental conflict and to focus on enjoying the time they have with the parent they are with at the time.

In many ways it is easy for children to align themselves with one parent because this reduces their confusion.

Ultimately it is better if they are assisted to focus on the fact that each parent loves them.

It would also be helpful if each parent is able to clearly give the children permission to enjoy a relationship with the other parent so that they do not feel disloyal to one or the other.

In situations where there is ongoing conflict and antagonism in the separated parental relationship what has the potential of being damaging for the children emotional development is to hear one parent being talked about and referred to in negative ways by the other parent.

Some effects might be that the child experiences conflict and contradictions in the emotional bond the child has with the parent/s: the child loves and dislikes the parent simultaneously. Subsequently, the child needs support in acknowledging the emotional conflict that s/he may be experiencing so that the child is able to hold on to the love for the parent, while maintain a regard for respectful relations.

Co-parenting after separation can be difficult with the changes and many issues that can arise for parents and children.

For more information, please contact Angela Ranallo

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.