If there was a fire/accident/emergency situation, how do you picture yourself responding-for your kids’ sake? Your kids need you to rise to the occasion and be the BEST POSSIBLE PARENT you can under pressure. It’s the same deal when you’ve separated.
You’d deal with an emergency in the most mature, responsible way. You don’t blame the fire, you don’t let your own fear and anxiety get a hold of you. You know what your kids need from you. You reassure them, you don’t take for granted how they are coping, you check in with them regularly and understand how it feels for them. You’d manage the logistical challenges that come with unavoidable change.
What your kids need after you’ve separated is exactly the same.
They need you to calmly and objectively talk about the changed situation and the challenges of accepting, adapting and managing the change, and how everyone will have their ups and downs and no-one is to blame.
They need to hear both of you acknowledge it is sad, it is difficult, it will take time to feel better, but no matter what, everyone is going to help each other to not to get angry with anyone, because that will just make the hurt last longer.
They absolutely need you to be a parent upon whom they can trust and rely on. And for kids that person would never say or do anything to leave doubt in their hearts and minds about their other parent.
Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash