Introduction to Being Parents not Partners
Putting your relationship with your ex on a new footing can be painfully difficult; understandably you may feel like erasing them from your life. For the sake of your children you need to remember that, above all, you are both still parents, even if you are no longer together. This section of The Parent Connection offers encouragement and advice for separating parents to take practical steps to try to ensure the effect of your break up on your child is kept to a minimum.
Parenting after parting - Ways to make it work
The end of a relationship is difficult and emotional for most people and can trigger many feelings; sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, happiness or relief, guilt and shame. At times like this, being a parent can make things seem even harder. Your feelings can change rapidly, even during the course of a day, but it is important not to let these feelings spill over into your relationship with your child. Trying hard to control what you say and do can make it easier for your child to cope with how they are feeling.
Agreeing on living arrangements and contact with the child is a challenge for both parents. Accept that your feelings about your ex may affect your attitude and willingness to co-operate. Around 10% of separating families go to the courts to sort out disputes about contact with the children. But research shows that parents tend to be happier with arrangements they've made themselves rather than those decided by the courts. So, if you possibly can, try to work through the difficulties and settle your differences together.
The tips and advice section of this site has ideas and resources that might help you build a new relationship as parents, even though you're no longer partners. We also offer guidance on getting it right for children when parents part.