Family break-up

(22 ratings)
Mum comforting her daughter
Splitting up is painful and stressful enough for you, but at least you understand why things haven't worked out. 'From your child's perspective, the two people he's closest to are no longer getting on,' says Raicar. 'Perhaps you're having arguments and being angry and hurtful towards each other.

Even if they don't understand the words you use, children will pick up non-verbally that you don't like each other.

'Because small children tend to see themselves as the centre of everything, they might feel that they made the parent go away or that they weren't good enough,' Raicar continues. 'If one parent is leaving, the child should see where they'll be living, so he can picture them there. A photo of the absent parent will help your child.'

'At 4, Millie's too young to fully understand that her dad and I have separated,' says Imogen, 30. 'We're talking about it in simple terms so we don't overwhelm her, but she knows that we're going to be living in different houses. I've been acting normally about the whole thing, as if it's not a big deal. I think if she sees me upset, she'll feel it too.

'She knows she's loved and that's the most important thing. It helps that my new partner has children already. We pretended to bump into each other and Millie took an immediate shine to his kids. She invited them all to Legoland the next day, so it was as if getting to know them was her own decision.'

- Next: Moving house and starting childcare

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More help and advice

 - Expert advice: Be positive and so will your children

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