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Attachment-based tips to help children thrive after separation
I hope that you'll find these tips inspiring and helpful. All seven tips are connected and stack one on top of the other. Once you have implemented the first tip, the second one will make more sense and so on...
I hope that they will help you to navigate your days with more ease and feel more confident in your role as a parent. You will find a short description of each tip below. If you would like to receive them weekly in your inbox, just fill in the form at the bottom of this page.
Tip 1 When you want to soften the impact of separation on your children
Think of your relationship with your children as a protective bubble that surrounds them everywhere they go. Imagine that their life events are outside that bubble and get filtered through it before they get to your children. Your relationship plays an important part in how your children experience events in their life. I believe that focusing on nurturing your relationship with your children is the best way to soften the impact of separation. Their experience of being known and understood by you can help them to make sense of what is happening in their world and keep it intact.
In this email, I share a 9-minute guided relaxation that will help you to:
Take a break from your to-do list
Connect with what you love and appreciate about your children
Set yourself up for parenting feeling calmer and more present
Tip 2 When you want your children to feel safe and loved
We know from attachment research that the foundation for children’s emotional security is their parents’ emotional security. Luckily, it is not set in stone. With care, you can grow and deepen your sense of security. Nurturing your sense of security is a gift to yourself, your children and many generations to come.
This email introduces a simple practice that can help you strengthen your sense of security and share it with your children.
Tip 4 When your children have big feelings
As parents, we want our children to be happy. Of course. When dealing with separation, this inside pressure to keep it all ok for your children can rise to a whole new level. However, when it gets in the way of your ability to welcome your children’s uncomfortable emotions (sadness, disappointment, anger, hatred, shame), it limits the bandwidth of your connection. It limits your conversations about separation and how much you can support them through this transition.
In this email, I talk about four simple steps that can help you ease this pressure off and move towards feeling more comfortable with your children’s big feelings.
Tip 3 When you want to feel more connected with your children
When you have so much to deal with, it can be easy to slip into autopilot mode, and days can go by without really connecting with your children. Those moments of connection are important. They fill up your children's cup, help them regulate their emotions and trust that all is well in their world.
In this email, I share a way of creating more moments of connection in your day. I love this approach to creating more moments of connection with your children because it is not about doing more. It does not require elaborate planning or more of your time. It is about coming to the same situations with a slightly different awareness. You can become more present with your children by asking yourself two simple questions.
Tip 5 When your buttons get pushed
Recognising when you are triggered, pausing to take a few breaths and then carrying on parenting from a calmer, more grounded place is a true parenting ninja move because the very nature of triggered states is about acting quickly, not about stepping back and reflecting. When you take the time to pause and breathe, you give yourself a much better chance to parent in a way that feels good to you and safe to your children.
This email is about the fastest and most reliable way to recognise when you are triggered and how you can look after yourself in those moments.
Tip 6 When your children are asking difficult questions
Let go of the expectation that you should have the perfect answers and commit to creating explanations, making sense of what is happening together your children. It will put less pressure on you, your children will feel part of it and the explanations you create together will likely make more sense to them. Start with asking your children about their experience of separation and listening to what it is like for them.
In this email, I share simple ideas that will help you to:
Find your inner stillness and prepare to listen to your children
Stay present with what your children are saying
Respond in a way that invites your children to share a little bit more
Gently put the conversation on hold if you want some time to think things through
Tip 7 When you dread talking about a particular topic
I know all too well how tempting it can be to avoid talking about difficult topics because I have done it over and over again. Yet each time I managed to show up for the conversation, I noticed that talking often feels way less scary than thinking about talking. On the other hand, if we don’t make ourselves available for conversations about separation, children tend to blame themselves for what happened and carry that heavy burden all by themselves.
In this email, I share:
Ideas to help you summon your courage for difficult conversations
Four questions you can ask your children to start the conversation
If you would like to hear more, fill in the form below and let me know where to send my tips. The first email will be on its way as soon as you have done that, and the subsequent emails will arrive weekly. I look forward to sharing my tips with you. I hope you will find them supportive, helpful, inspiring, encouraging and empowering.
I am Una Archer, the founder of Parenting after Separation and Circle of Security Parenting facilitator. My experience of going through separation and supporting other separated parents helped me to develop an approach that puts children’s emotional security at the heart of every decision. Using this approach helps parents to:
Soften the impact of separation on their children
Confidently support their children in difficult situations
Help their children feel safe and loved
To find out more about this approach subscribe to my 7 tips to help children cope with separation.