How to deal with not seeing your children
Divorce is a huge transitional period, and we normally need help to navigate the emotional upheaval and legal process. One of the most challenging areas of this new arrangement maybe coping with not seeing your children. Emotional fear arises when we are forced let go of the familiar. From seeing your child every day may become less frequent.
Below are some of our recommended tools to help you through this transitional process.
Keep in touch
In many cases, typical child access arrangements may only happen once per week or less, so it’s important that your children understand you are always there to support them.
Texting or Facetime is a great way to stay in touch. Talking by phone can sometimes be difficult for a child, so don’t worry if they don’t want to come to the phone, just text a ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ or ‘how’s your day?’ and remember kids often respond to pictures more than words. The main thing is that the lines of communication remain open.
Talking about your ex
Stay respectful in conversations about your ex-partner. Whatever your feelings and emotional state, disrespecting your ex- partner will only lead to tension and mistrust between you and your children.
How you manage your divorce & child arrangements are key to a successful outcome with your children and ex-partner.
Life is often unpredictable and plans can change unexpectedly, so try to stay flexible and accepting if your child arrangements need to change. Your children may also feel disappointment, so let the kids know that you are looking forward to seeing them next time.
Make the most with your child
It’s a good idea to discuss and make some fun plans together. Maybe try out different foods at mealtimes, arrange bike rides, walks, play games, make puzzles, help them with their homework and support their interests.
Whatever you decide to do together, the important thing is that you are focused on them and the activity. Just being there physically is not enough, children need your attention, so they feel secure and loved. Creating fresh adventures will make memories!
Accept how you feel
Our feelings play a large part in how we react to situations. Being away from your children may cause deep emotional upset – this is a natural response. Depression, anger, anxiety, resentment are all natural emotions that you may experience during this transitional time.
Try to stay aware of your feelings and reactions, acceptance is the first step to recovery. So don’t resist how you feel, accept your feelings, and let them pass through you.
Create a support network/ Share your feelings
Dealing with not seeing your child may be easier to handle if you share your feelings with people experiencing a similar situation. Sharing feelings with others ‘in the same boat’ can help you to feel safe and supported.
It may feel daunting at first, but this is an effective way to heal and enable you to move forward. Research what is available in your local area to find a good support group.
Find a therapist
If a support group is not for you, there are other means of support. You may feel more comfortable on a one-to-one basis with a trained professional therapist.
We often feel stuck in a negative emotional place. A therapist is trained to let you explore your own feelings, find your emotional wounds which are stopping you from moving on. They can advise you with a strategy when these negative feelings arise so you can heal and let those feelings go.
There is also family mediation if you are having issues making arrangements for your children, or if there is a breakdown in communications. Family mediators are specially trained to help families come to agreements that work for everyone. They are impartial and will ultimately leave the decision making down to you and your ex. For child arrangements, there is currently funding via the Ministry of Justice’s family mediation voucher, which is open to everyone. Also, there is Legal Aid funding for people on specific benefits or low income.
Find your own happiness
We all deserve happiness, and it comes through making the best of every situation that comes our way. What would make you feel happy? We can’t control events, but we can choose how we wish to respond to them.
Write a list of things you have always wanted to do but never had time to explore, maybe it’s a new hobby, travel, or joining a book club, keeping fit, yoga or meditation. Keeping active can help during these challenging times.
Chat with your friends and loved ones
Families are usually there for us, no matter what, so open up and let them help you. Friends are often just as crucial at these times, sometimes more.
Remember that people like to help other people, it’s a normal response. Think about an instance when somebody confided in you, how did it make you feel? It’s normally a positive feeling, you may feel respected that you were asked. When we help someone, it makes us feel good! So don’t be afraid to ask.
Get into action
Sometimes it is hard to get the ball rolling, especially if things are difficult. If you want professional help in establish contact with your child, or having communications with your ex, Direct Mediation Services can help. To speak to one of our team call 01134689593 or complete the form below.
By completing this form you consent to Direct Mediation Services holding the information you provide us about you in accordance with our Privacy notice. By submitting your email address and telephone number to us you consent to us contacting you in order to enable us to deal with your query. Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do to see my kids?
This can be a really painful experience, so getting support is important. There are professionals out there that can help, such as family mediators. Mediators can support you and your ex with establishing child arrangements. It is also the first step if you are thinking of asking the court to intervene as an accredited family mediator needs to sign the court form in most circumstances.
What do typical child arrangements look like?
There are no typical arrangements, but what is important is that they are regular. A routine really helps kids adjust to new situations, as it gives them stability. Child arrangements is a common topic discussed in family mediation.
I want to see my child more. What can I do?
It is important to discuss child arrangements with everyone and this may include your children if they are 10 years or above; in mediation this is called Child Inclusive Mediation and a specially qualified mediator carriers out the consultation.
What professional help is out there to help me deal with not seeing my children?
There are therapists that can support your during this difficult time; however, do make sure that the person you see is qualified. In the UK there is the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
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