Relationships and children, what happens when parents’ divorce.

A large number of relationships break down, in fact around 45,000 divorces are granted every year in Australia.  But lets look at what it means for the children involved with the average number of kids effected by each divorce being 2.

  • Every child finds that their parents separation and divorce cause stress.
  • Each child experiences it in different ways but overall the most common features seen in kids experiencing this are
    • Some regression in behaviour including requiring more help with tasks such as preparing food, getting dressed and planning tasks
    • Seeking more physical contact and reassurance
    • Being anxious about being left alone or with a non-parental figure
    • Difficulty with some friendships as they try and explain their change in family circumstances to their friends and teachers.
    • Loss of sleep as their daytime anxiety spills over into their self-settling skills.

 

The family court website has a good guide that lists ways that you can help your child.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/parenting/children-and-separation

 

You should both:

  • reassure your child/ren that you still love them
  • remember that accepting and dealing with the separation will enable you to better assist your child/ren to do the same
  • allow your child/ren the right to love both of you – don’t make them choose
  • tell your child/ren that they are not to blame and help them to discuss their feelings – they often blame themselves, especially when parents fight about them or things they have done
  • listen sympathetically to your child/ren’s feelings and opinions without judgment
  • talk with the other parent about issues relating to your child/ren
  • make sure your child/ren don’t hear or see you fighting
  • keep your child/ren out of your arguments with or about the other parent
  • be positive about the other parent when talking to your child/ren
  • turn to other adults for emotional support rather than to your child/ren
  • talk with your child/ren’s teachers so they understand the situation, and
  • keep your focus on your child/ren’s well-being rather than on what is ‘fair’ for you.

It is important to be very clear around parenting arrangements and when a child will see each parent.  These ground rules provide a reliable structure for the child and allows each parent to contribute to their upbringing.  Each child, unless a court order says differently, will still have each parent contribute to their medical, educational and other life decisions so ongoing positive communication between parents is an absolute necessity.

 

The links from the Family Court website are very useful in understanding how to navigate a separation and divroce while keeping the children in the forfront of planning.

Other resources

There are booklets that may help separating parents work out the best future arrangements for their child/ren. The Department of Social Services are now responsible for the following publications:

You can order by calling 1800 050 009 between 8:30am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or download from www.familyrelationships.gov.au

The Attorney-General’s Department also has a helpful publication, Parenting Orders – what you need to know.

 

When to seek help?

All children (and their parents) are affected by separation and divorce.  It is reasonable that everyone is under stress and distressed at some time.  For most these feelings lessen, they form a new routine over a number of months, and a regular and reliable pattern of positive contact with both parents can occur.

If a child, at any age, is continually distressed, upset or refuses to see the other

 

References

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3310.0

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/family-law-matters/parenting/children-and-separation

Hello all,

Now that the borders are open and Covid19 planning has changed we are also changing to lower your and our risk of catching Covid19.

SA Health has released a matrix to use if exposed to COVID in a health setting. If we are F2F for over 15 minutes and not wearing at least an N95 mask for the whole appointment – you and we need to quarantine for 7 days. To lower the risk to our patients of illness and time spent in quarantine we are therefore:

– Lessening the number of people in our practice, Dr Turner will only be doing Telehealth to assist in this, and we ask those attending for other clinicians to come alone or with one adult;

– We will have everyone stay in their car until their appointment time, then come to the back door to enter. We will not be using our waiting room;

– All bills will be invoiced and sent to you so you don’t need to stand at the front desk;

– You are welcome to ask for your appointment to be by Telehealth at any time.

We really want to stay open, offer health care, and be as safe as we can – and we really hope to go back to our regular face to face work using the whole practice space, as soon as we can, and as soon as SA Health give that guidance.