Separation and/or divorce is a time of emotional, relationship and environmental change for all family members. Throughout the process it is important to prioritize and consider the impact and unique needs of the children/youth in the family. Often children find themselves being put in the middle, being asked to choose sides or keep secrets. They may find themselves living in two separate homes often with two different sets of rules and expectations. It can be difficult for them to adjust to so many changes.
The pain of separation may leave you feeling lonely, depressed, angry, jealous and guilty. You may find yourself struggling with issues such as a sense of loss and reduced self-esteem. Along with all these feelings, there may also be a sense of relief. The way you handle the separation very much effects how your children will cope as well. This is why it is a good idea to seek help. This is new territory and it can be difficult to navigate it on your own.
Sometimes children and youth simply need a safe place to talk about their feelings. They can see that their parents are struggling and may not want to burden them further. They may need some help understanding what is happening. Fortunately, with lots of support and sensitivity, children and youth can learn to adjust to their new lives, and so can you.