Parenting through separation can be stressful for both you and your children. As family lawyers, we see how damaging a separation can be on a child.
This month, I attended a seminar on putting children first. It was run by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Child Family Community Australia for practitioners and others who work with families. In the seminar, it was highlighted that the focus should be on the children, their well-being and development, rather than yourself or the other parent.
Evidence suggests that children learn from the behaviours of others around them, particularly parents. Because of this, you should try to avoid judgement and model positive behaviour for your children. Think about parenting in a positive light, the joy and importance, and less about how hard it can be (though it may be helpful for you to seek the assistance of a trained professional to work through these difficulties). This will be more beneficial to supporting your children through a separation and minimise any resentment you may have towards the other parent and parenting in general.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies’ CFCA Information Exchange, National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Parenting Research Centre have prepared a toolkit to help shift the way we talk about parenting. While the toolkit is aimed at people who work with families, it could have a broader reach. It may be useful for anyone who is looking at different approaches to talking about parenting with friends and family, and in front of children. A copy of the toolkit can be accessed here.
There are many other resources to help you navigate parenting through separation. For example, there are a number of programs run by Interrelate, Relationships Australia, and dedicated phone support such as Parent Line. Your lawyer can assist by representing your interests throughout the process to lessen the stress and impact of a separation on all parties.
If you need assistance with parenting matters or a separation, our experienced team are here to help. Contact us today to arrange an appointment.