Parental fear when separation occurs:

When families change shape parental fear is in abundant supply: fear of children being damaged by your separation, fear of not being able to kiss your children every night as they go to sleep or every morning as they wake up, fear of being marginalised in your child’s life, fear of children drifting away from you, fear of your children having a better time I when they are with their other parent, fear of being emotionally replaced by a new step-parent...... the list goes on.

Parents seek out and benefit from plenty of reassurance to be able to cope with this fear. If it is not talked about then it can lead to parents running into conflict, creating a parental competition and children being impacted by the emotional fall-out.

When mediating parents are planning for separated family life and creating a parenting plan for their children I encourage them to explore any parental worries that are prominent for each of them and to offer acknowledgement and reassurance to the other parent. It is a brave step to admit to such parental worries and vulnerabilities but if both parents commit to engaging in the dialogue then it can be a hugely important conversation for separating parents to have. It can prevent it from becoming a parental competition that is damaging for children.