Children go through a wide range of emotions when their parents are separating. They may experience periods of unhappiness and low self-esteem, and many will have behavioural problems.
Low self-esteem is often connected to feelings of sadness or anxiety, and could lead some children to withdraw socially. Children with low self-esteem may focus on the negative, worry about the way they treat others, find it difficult to accept compliments, and feel reluctant to do things.
Being in the presence of conflict can have a negative effect on a child’s feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. It is always best for your child if you and your ex-partner can keep any residual conflict away from the children.
Most children of separated parents find it easier to settle back into a normal pattern of development when their parents maintain a good relationship and communicate well with each other.
You can take steps towards improving communication with your ex-partner, including using our free online course Getting it Right for Children. You may find it helpful to use our free online parenting plan.
However, it’s important to note that other factors, such as the child’s temperament or external stresses, may make things harder for the child to settle back into their routine.
If you’re worried about how your child is coping with the separation, make some time to talk to them. Find out how your child is feeling and reassure them that they are not to blame for the breakdown between you and your ex-partner.