We haven’t really started making arrangements yet

It’s great that you’re looking for support to start making arrangements early on. Long and obvious disagreements between parents can make children feel stressed and unhappy. It’s worse if they feel they are the cause of the arguments. The sooner you can sort things out, the less your child will be affected in the long term.

We know separation is a really difficult time. You may feel angry, hurt, vulnerable, guilty and relieved all in one day. This exhausting mixture of strong emotions can make it hard to talk openly, make compromises or even co-operate with your child’s other parent.

This service can help you put these emotions aside to focus on your child and their needs.

We can help you talk directly with your child’s other parent to make and keep plans.

Everyone hates being used as a messenger or forced to take sides – including your child. Being a go-between will make them feel caught in the middle of your disagreements and responsible for the upset they cause. Your child still loves both of you and hearing criticisms of someone you love is never nice.

Your child will be happier if you can communicate directly and respectfully with their other parent. They can also learn from seeing you handle disagreement well.

We can help you to make sure your distress or anger does not affect your child.

It’s natural to feel distracted and upset during a separation. Your feelings could mean you act differently as a parent. Perhaps you get angry or tearful more often.

Your child will also have a lot of emotions to deal with. These may include anger, anxiety, hurt and relief. They might be worried that if you have stopped loving their other parent, you will stop loving them too. They could be anxious about how they should behave to help you feel better. 

Depending on their age, children show their distress differently. Babies and young children may become clingy or have trouble sleeping. Older children may get very angry, have trouble playing or getting on with their friends, or might side with one parent over the other.

Helping yourself can help your child. Sorting out disagreements about their support and care can help you feel more positive and confident. If you’re really struggling to cope, you might find it helpful to get support from a friend, counsellor or doctor alongside making your parenting plan.

Then you can get back to giving your child the love and reassurance they really need.

We can help you plan how to work together as parents.

Children are happiest when their lives are stable and they know what to expect. Working together as parents - even if you can’t stand the sight of each other - will help to make sure your child is secure and happy.

A Parenting Plan helps you pin down exactly how you will manage this. It includes day-to-day arrangements such as where your child will live and go to school. It can also cover some financial agreements such as who will pay for clothes and shoes, who is in charge of pocket money and how you will support them as they grow up.

Working out these details isn’t always easy. Splitting Up? Put Kids First is a safe, online space to get started. It can help you with the skills and practical info you need to create a plan and stick to it.

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