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Steady as you go

daily routineWhen you are going through a separation you are obviously going to be concerned about the effect that it has on your children. Everyone’s lives have suddenly been turned upside down and everything that we are used to is changing.  It can be a very unsettling time for our children, as well as you, so steady as you go,  it is important that the children keep a sense of security and familiarity.  Creating and maintaining routines can help to do this and also help you and your ex to find a new way of looking after your children.

Why Routines Are Good

Routines give children a sense of safety and security. Children experiencing a separation can feel like their whole lives are falling apart so the routine they have, the better.  Establishing routine visitation will help them deal with the separation as will know when to expect to see you again.  Maintaining the same daily routine, whether they are with their mother or you, will help ease the transition.

Daily Routine

From the moment that children are babies, establishing a daily routine is a highly beneficial.  Children react well to boundaries and knowing what to expect.  It can also help with their mental and physical health and sleep patterns. When your child is with you it can be tempting to score points by letting them stay up late or eat lunch in the afternoon, but it is important to maintain their normal routine.

Routine Visitation

Hopefully, you have been able to come to an agreement about visitation.  This is not only a good thing for you but also for your children.  They will be filled with uncertainty when you no longer live with them and it is important to make then feel as secure as possible.  By establishing a regular access pattern they will know that you are still a constant part of their lives.

Discussing Routines with Your Ex

In an ideal world you would be able to have a mature, constructive conversation with your ex whenever necessary.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case but you both need to work hard to maintain a good relationship for the sake of the children.  Building and breaking routines should not be about control or points scoring, it is about the best interests of your children.  There may be legitimate reasons why a routine needs to be changed and you should be able to openly discuss this.

Fortunately I have a good parenting relationship with my ex, If something comes up and I can’t have my child on a certain weekend then I forfeit that weekend and pick up the next one scheduled, this applies to her also.  At first this was quiet confronting as it means you will miss two weekends in a row (if you are fortnightly) without swapping but in reality, it works perfectly because I can note on a calendar in pen my days and weekends for the year and they never change.  If you are having trouble, consider some Mediation help to get you on the right track.

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  1. pete says:

    been a single dad 4 15 years hard but worth it