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20/05/2010 23:19 - Ask Mother Hen (Locality: Dublin North)
I´m a new separated mun in the last few days & I´m wondering how to tell my children aged 6 & 8 that their daddy has left us to be with someone else without shattering their little lives. I just don´t know were to even begin. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

re : Help           reply
21/05/2010 08:26 - Ask Mother Hen
Dear Mk,
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. The breakdown of the family structure we had hoped for is a very hard blow and the sadness and shock you must be feeling is dreadful. If you have anyone who you can talk to and who can give you some support, please ask them for help. You need to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of your children in this situation.
Is the separation final? Have you and your partner separated for good? The answer to this will be important in how you tell your children so make sure that you are both clear on this.
Whatever the situation is, it is best if both of you can tell your children together. Once you have firmly decided that you will be separating, then you plan together how you will talk to your children. It is also important that you try not to show feelings of anger, blame or guilt during this conversation. You also need to make sure that the children are reassured that although you and their Dad are separating, you are both still their parents and still love them just as much as before. Children will also worry about practical issues like where will they live, who will cook their meals, take them to school, help them with homework, bring them to activities and so on. Try to be prepared for these questions so that you can answer and reassure them that the practical everyday issues will be okay. Also, try to keep changes in their lives to a minimum and don´t let them see or get involved in adult conflicts.
I highly recommend that you contact Barnardos and ask them to send you out their booklets on ´Coping With Separation´ for children aged 6 to 12 and also for parents of this age group. These are very comprehensive booklets and give very sound advice and support for both the parents and the children. If at all possible, wait until you have received these and had a chance to read them and then talk to your children. It would be best if their dad could also go through booklets so that you are both aware of how to look after the best interests of your children at this time. Follow the advice in these booklets and make sure to look after yourself throughout this process. Your children need you to be okay if you are going to help them through this.
Barnardos can be contacted at 01 4549699.
My very best wishes to you during this difficult time.

re... : Help           reply
21/05/2010 11:26 - Ask Mother Hen
Thank you very much for your advice, i´ll get on to them straight away.

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