Maintaining your focus

A difficult task for many parents going through a separation or divorce is keeping their feelings about their ex-partner separate from their children’s need (and right) to have the love and support of both parents. If you find yourself struggling with these emotions, focus on your parental responsibilities and then try to:

  • Separate your adult-relationship feelings from your parental ones.
  • Identify your children’s needs, and then keep those needs separate from your feelings about the other parent.
  • Recognize that your children’s relationship with your ex-partner is different from yours (partner vs. parent).
  • Take a break: go for a walk, have coffee with a friend, read a book – do something that helps take the pressure off and gives you time to regain perspective.
  • Do not allow others to pressure you into making quick decisions that involve your children during the separation or divorce.

Use these strategies to shift your focus from your own feelings about the end of your relationship to the well-being of your children. It will take some time and a concentrated effort on your part to make this adjustment. Persevere, and you will eventually find yourself making decisions based on what is best for your children, not on your emotional reaction to a situation.