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Separating parents urged by Christian charity to protect kids from fighting

by Tola Mbakwe

In honour of Family Mediation Week, the organisation has partnered with Wells Family Mediation to put together advice on how separated parents can show unity when raising their child.

Available on the charity's website, the advice includes a short film and articles containing practical tips. It also includes advice for single Dads from Daniel Sherwin who runs the blog Dadsolo.

The advice includes:

  • Aim for a relaxed atmosphere at handovers, where the child does not pick up stress or conflict.
  • Protect your child from conflict between you and the other parent.
  • Always speak nicely of the other parent when in the child's presence.
  • Use 'we' language to the child, to show that mum and dad talk about him/her and make decisions together.

Ian Soars, chief executive of Fegans, which provides children's counselling and parenting support services across the South East, said: "Separation is an incredibly stressful and upsetting time, and we can't always protect our children fully from the impact of a broken relationship. However, research shows that children benefit from shared parenting.

"This is not just about how much time they have with each parent - although that is important - but it is also about how they experience the relationship between their parents."

The new short film gives the child's perspective of family life after separation.

In one scene, a boy looks up from his football match to see his separated parents standing together on the sidelines.
"Seeing them together, supporting me, even though I know it is hard for them, means everything to me," he says.

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