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Tips please on helping DS through separation/divorce(3 Posts)
DH and I have separated. For financial and practical reasons, we've still been living in the same house (although separate bedrooms) for the last year, but will now be moving into separate houses too.
We have a 5 year old DS. We haven't really spoken to him about it. He's used to us each having our own room, and that Saturday is with me, and Sunday with DH, and is happy and secure with what we have so far.
Fortunately, the split itself is about as amicable as these things can be and we both want to minimise the impact on DS as much as possible.
We are planning on shared residence, with each of us having DS for half the week. (Wed eve to Sat with me, then Sun to Wed morning with DH).
We are concerned about the disruption for DS on shuffling between houses every few days, and how this will impact him.
Could anyone who has been through this, give us some practical tips on how to make it easier for him, and how we can explain something very adult to a five year old. (Everything I've read just says 'use age appropriate language' which is a bit duh).
My daughter was 3 months off her 5th birthday. We'd always been in separate rooms, and she didn't know we'd split for 4 months until I moved out.
I bought some books - very simple ones, but she was interested. Something like "My Two Homes". It wasn't about emotions, just "I have a blue toothbrush in one house and a red one in the other."
She was excited to go to see the new house. I got her dad to come over to see it with her, so it looked amicable.
I just talked positively - and let her ask questions. Didn't plan what to say too much.
Just separated 2 weeks ago and have a 7 year old DS. I pre-booked an art therapist before the announcement of the separation. DS attends weekly and likes the therapist and the sessions a lot. I bought all the childrens' books on divorce for kids eg Dinosaur Divorce, Was It The Chocolate Cake? Two Homes, Its Not The End of the World (more for tweens) which DS said were helpful. The Guide for Separated Parents: Putting Your Children First has been my "bible" for assistance. It's comprehensive, practical and comforting about how to help kids of all ages.
DS lives with me all the time and his dad visits him at his home (I leave the house) or his dad takes him out. DS did not want to stay part of the time at his dad's place (not possible anyway) and we are trying to minimise the changes to DS's life.
DS says he doesn't miss his dad but he acts out (in a way that he doesn't used to and occasionally breaks down in tears) so there's definitely collateral damage.
Everybody tells me that it is the quality of the co-parenting and not the separation itself that harms kids. Doing all the "right things" can help minimise harm. God I hope so.
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