Looking Ahead

Making choices

Now that you have come to the end of this guide, it’s time to think again about the future, and the choices you have. You can continue in the same way as before or decide to make some changes in your life. As you think about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead, bear in mind how you would want your child to view this stage in their lives when they are grown up.

What about future events, like school plays or even weddings? Will they want their parents to still be fighting?

We’ve seen that it is not the divorce or separation that causes problems for children as they grow up, it is the conflict that comes out of it. If there is conflict between you and your child’s other parent there are different options available to you.

Stay the same?

There is a saying…“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

If there is high conflict between you and your child’s other parent, you could continue to argue and put your child in the middle. You could also continue to think that you are doing the best for your child and that all of the blame and fault lies with your child’s other parent.

You may be used to going to court and having decisions about parenting your child being made by a judge. However, doing this doesn’t deal with any emotional difficulties that can lead to further problems. It can be tempting to want to have a solicitor who is on your side, and the thought of winning a legal point can seem attractive, especially if you firmly believe that you are in the right. If you need to be proved right and think that going to court will do this, try to look at it from your child’s perspective and ask yourself how this will help them in the long term.

Make some changes?

You can decide to negotiate on your own, consult a solicitor for legal advice or, if talking on your own proves too difficult, you can, with the help of a mediator, use mediation to help you achieve your own solutions.

Focusing on the changes that you can make, rather than hoping for changes from your child’s other parent can make a huge difference to how your child experiences the break-up. You can use the hints and tips in this guide to guide you; remember that small changes can make a big difference. Click below to download a worksheet to write down your ideas. Taking the least confrontational approach is not necessarily easy and you will need to be able to distance yourself from any strong emotions and take a practical, cooperative approach.

Even if your child’s other parent doesn’t attempt to change, you will know that you tried to do the right thing. You might not always succeed; however, by doing a little better now there will be longer term rewards for you and your child.

Please tick the checkbox to track your progress through the guide.