Over four million children in Britain now live in separated families – that’s equal to a third of the children in the country. Some couples choose to have one resident parent, with the other parent having weekend and mid-week time with their children, but others prefer to divide up their children’s time differently and 50/50 shared parenting agreements are now becoming increasingly popular. Despite their attraction these arrangements can be complicated to plan and manage.
Many children might not even completely understand what is going on, but even for older children and teenagers who do, this can be hard. Being surrounded by divorce can be so difficult for children, and it is sometimes hard to see the emotional effects the experience may have.
Helping separating couples to work out the details of their split with minimum negative impact on the children is a big part of the mediation process that we provide at Progressive Mediation. Much can be learned through the experiences of others too and we recently read these two relevant articles that we think you will find of real interest:
Divorce advice for the 250,000 children who need it
Where can children go to talk about the divorce of their parents and breakdown of their family? The number of places is very limited, until now. This article on the Times website introduces Kids in the Middle, a new internet helpline for children whose parents are splitting up. Who better to talk to children going through divorce than teenagers who already have this experience? Progressive Mediation have been involved with Kids in the Middle from its beginnings by helping with fund raising activities; so have a look at the article and see if you agree with us that it is a fantastic idea.
When Parents Split Up – Your Stories
This article by The Guardian was created by collecting stories people were willing to share about their experiences of divorce when they were children. Many of the people who have shared stories in the article are grown up now. We have to say that parts of this article are heart moving, and it really emphasises the importance of including children’s voices in mediation and where appropriate seeing the children, so that they have the opportunity to talk. Click here to read the stories for yourself.
Here at Progressive Mediation we sometimes see children, particularly when they are caught up in the middle of their parents’ conflict. They may have conflicting loyalties, saying one thing to one parent and something else to the other. We often find that what children say to us, and what is most important to them, is that their parents stop fighting.
If you would like further information about how we may be able to help you to do the best for your children through the divorce and separation process then please call us on 0117 924 3880.