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Tips for dealing with separation

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Mum comforting her daughter

Children can often find it hard to deal with the changes that a separation can bring and so it's important to tackle it in the right way. Our experts look at different topics that could cause them problems and suggest ways to help make it easier - for you and your child.

1. Moving

Laverne Antrobus, child psychologist and author of Ain't Misbehavin' published by Pearson Books says:
'Talk to your child as soon as you know about a change, and if something happens that was unplanned let her know this was the case.

Tell your child that you understand that she is upset but that this change will happen and you need her help to get through it. Perhaps talk to her about what she can do to help. For example, if she is moving into a new room she could think about what she would like to take with her, how we would like to change the room, decorate it and so on.'

2. Visiting rights

Parentline Plus says:
'Where it is safe, encourage your ex-partner to be in frequent contact with their children, face to face or by phone, post or email. It helps children deal with the separation.'

3. Ground rules with your ex

Parentline Plus says:
'Setting ground rules with your ex-partner is important in the same way all decisions are, so if you have said no for a reason you know your ex-partner will back you up. But if this sounds an impossible task, don't let yourself get wound up if they buy the kids presents you can't afford.

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Remember all the things that you do give your child, like your time, love or simple but thoughtful presents will be remembered long after the latest toy has been thrown away.'

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