Families Change
Parent Guide to Separation & Divorce

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How do I stay focused on the important things?

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It can be very difficult to keep your feelings about your ex separate from your children’s need for love and support from both of their parents. If you are struggling with these emotions, focus on your responsibilities as a parent. Then try to

  • separate your adult-relationship feelings from your feelings as a parent;
  • figure out what your kids need, and keep those needs separate from your feelings about your ex;
  • remember that your children’s relationship with your ex-partner is different from your relationship with your ex-partner;
  • take a break and do something that helps take the pressure off and gives you time to think: Go for a walk, have coffee with a friend, read a book; and
  • don’t let others pressure you into making quick decisions about your children during the divorce.

You can use these strategies to shift your focus from your own feelings about the end of your relationship to what’s best for your children. This isn’t easy. You will really have to try, and it will take some time. If you keep practicing, you will begin to make more decisions based on what’s best for your children and fewer that are based on your emotional reaction to a situation.