Whether we’re divorcing, separating or ‘consciously uncoupling’, these days it seems far too many of us are experiencing the trauma and effects of a family breakdown!

The end of an intimate, co-parenting relationship can often feel like ‘splitting up’ = ‘splitting YOU’ and you may notice that your children just can’t seem to get enough of YOU? So why do you feel so ‘halved’? Well, firstly, you’re literally no longer one half of a ‘double act’ - you’re now a single parent and that feels different emotionally. When we’re in love and together, we adopt or absorb parts of the person we love. So, of course, when we break up we do feel diminished and possibly halved. It’s as if we have lost parts of ourselves and feels like something is missing.

Secondly, when we lose something precious to us (the relationship), we start to experience a whole range of ‘loss-cycle’ emotions. This can feel like being on an awful, uncontrollable ‘roller-coaster’ with it’s dramatic, confusing up’s & downs. Though this cycle is a necessary ‘journey’ helping us process the change, there will be times, as you recover from your separation, when you may feel overwhelmed by the different stages of grieving i.e. sadness, anger guilt, depression, etc.

Your children experience these emotions too! So you will notice that now, more than ever, they depend on to be your ‘whole, strong self’ - especially when they have to adjust to being with only one of you at a time. They may also find it hard to share you with their siblings. If you are able to set aside special time with each child, they will really appreciate this and you will enjoy them more - instead of feeling like you are being stretched or pulled in different directions.

An extract from ‘Kids Come First’

‘Kids Come First’ is a new support forum specially created for separated parents to encourage the sharing of information & experiences within a group session. At the forum we present a unique adult learning ‘programme’ of child-focused material, which aims to offer helpful, specialised guidance & advice for separated parenting. The course has been carefully compiled and is presented by two qualified, adult teacher trainers (co-founders) who have extensive experience of child counselling & family mediation. They identified the need and importance of being able to provide an appropriate arena where separated parents could receive structured, ‘tailor-made’ support during this difficult time. How can we help? Becoming a separated parent takes time to adjust & adapt to. You may find yourself struggling to maintain an effective co- parenting relationship with your ex-partner which may, in turn, have a negative impact on your children. You may have noticed changes in their behaviour and have concerns about this. By offering the right support & advice, at the time you need it most, we aim to help you cope - so your children will too!

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