Separation of parents | Life with toddler and child

the separation of parents is a painful loss for children of all ages. It might be easier to cope with when the children are older and maybe even out of the house. But for the smaller children, there’s just something missing. The loss is all the more painful the more the child becomes aware of it, for example because a loved one is no longer there or because it sees that other children do not have to mourn such a loss.


Separation of parents – attempts at explanation

There are various possible reasons why separate parents. But none of them are valid for the child and can be made plausible to him. Even older children have trouble with it. It also has to live with others and cannot simply separate. So why can’t the parents stay together?

It’s even worse for the child when they have to deal with a new partner. “This is your new daddy now” – that should hardly be enough to make you forget the pain of separation. It takes a lot of empathy on the part of the new partner if a relationship is to develop.

The new partner also affects the relationship with the old partner for the child. Is it really allowed to maintain this contact without the other partner becoming jealous? And does the new partner really have a chance of making the child forget the old one at some point?

separation of parents

The circumstances of the separation of the parents

A lot depends on the circumstances. Some parents manage to be there for the child even after the separation, rarely together, of course. This will be difficult if you are far away, but today the telephone or the Internet can help. If these contacts are truly tolerated unreservedly, then it can lessen the pain of separation. In no case should one of the partners try to pull the child to their side. This can even affect the child’s trust in both partners. A third reference person, such as the grandparents or godparents, can therefore also be helpful.

responsibility for the child

Before separating, parents should remember that they have a shared responsibility for their children. Even if they no longer understand each other, it can therefore make sense in the interests of the children to maintain the relationship at least in terms of form and to be there for the children together. That’s difficult, but possible – unless one of the two brings a new partner into play.

Photo Credit: palidachan, Antonio Guillem /

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