This week is Child Safety Week (3 June to 9 June 2019), a campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. The theme this year is ‘family life today: where’s the risk?’ and it highlights the dangers facing families today with our modern lifestyles. Whilst the campaign predominantly focuses on teaching children about protecting their physical health and the avoidance of accidents, it is important to remember that children can also be exposed to psychological and emotional harm.
In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly common for parents of a child to be separated. During a relationship breakdown, a child is likely to experience many emotions that they have not encountered before. They can find it difficult to cope with their parents living separately and the change in lifestyle, particularly where there is hostility still present. It is common for parents to think that their child is coping well with the relationship breakdown, however it may not necessarily be the case. It is therefore important for parents, carers, grandparents, schools and everyone else involved in a child’s life to look out for the signs that a child may not be coping. Every child will react differently but here are a few tips on how to help your child get through this emotional time:
- Let your child know it’s ok to talk about how they are feeling. Sometimes it can be hard for a child to confide in their parents because they are involved in the situation, therefore it may help to refer your child to a counsellor to enable them to speak freely and process how they feel. Often schools will have someone on hand who can help assist or will be able to refer you to an appropriate expert.
- Try to avoid talking to your child directly about the separation or divorce. However, your child may be feeling uncertain about the future arrangements and may have questions about this, so try to answer these in a positive way in order to provide some certainty for them.
- Encourage your child to have contact with their other parent. Sometimes a child may need a little reassurance that it is still ok to have this contact, as they may be fearful of upsetting you by having such contact.
- Always remind your child that they are loved by both parents. It may seem obvious, but expressing this to your child directly can be of great comfort to them.
At Rayden Solicitors, our aim is to make the separation or divorce process easier for you and your family. If you would like to make an appointment or have any questions about family matters, please contact us.