In many families is the term “Separation” It is no longer a foreign word today. Ute Steffens has accompanied and worked with many parents in separation. For the educational world Brunswick Child development is always the focus. The 62-year-old has published a therapy book, With Children Through Separation. Your classes are as classic as A Psychiatric treatment Divided into “sessions”. In the interview, she talks about the stages of separation and possible mistakes when dealing with children.
Separation happens everywhere – what are the differences between childless couples compared to parents?
Parents have children – and in my experience they want them to survive the separation unharmed. Also, one healthy family The epitome of longing and purpose in life for most people, even today for young people – studies show. When that doesn’t work, it feels like a failure.
Psychologically speaking, the separation of parents is enormous life crisis, which means that parents are often inevitably very busy with themselves. So much so that sometimes they don’t have the strength at all to give to their children Safety And the direction To provide what they desperately need. In the worst case, a type . is configured vicious circle Outside overload And the remorsewho only knew before self reflection real and responsible Telecommunications Melt.
Many parents think that they can hide their crisis from their children, but children have severe antennae. Of course they notice when parents are in conflict – and if they are not spoken to afterwards, they often come to the conclusion, given their developmental potential and beliefs, that they Error in position.
Parting is associated with anger, sadness and despair over the soul. Mom quotes in your book: “Make no mistakes now!” What are the biggest mistakes when dealing with children after a new breakup?
The biggest mistakes happen when disagreements arise — and not just or just after a breakup. They are the most harmful to the healthy development of the child loyalty struggles. Children should not feel the need to choose between mother and father and therefore against the other.
Babies need both parents! Because parents are their roots identification.
Through them they learn the difference between children and adults in our society and they are the first and most important role models for them gender identityThat is, what makes a man, her father, and what makes a woman her mother. Parents don’t have to agree with what the other does, but they have to make the child feel it the love to respect the other.
Children often feel guilty. What does separation do for children?
Developmentally, children initially associate moods and events in the family with themselves. The thinking of young children in particular is often referred to in psychology as “magical thinking” described. So they believe they can make a difference through the power of their desires.
An example is a red traffic light: if the number of young children is three and the traffic light turns green, they think they have already done so. Then, when they get angry with a parent and want their dad or mom to get away, they feel responsible if the dad actually gets out.
They write that after such an event, children return to the early stages of development: drinking from a bottle again – or wanting to sleep in mom / dad’s bed again. Should parents allow it or stand up to it?
The so-called bouncing is always an indication that children are being challenged or overwhelmed. And the smaller the number of children, the greater the changes, such as the birth of a child brother and sister or just one Separation. Then they return to an earlier stage of development by returning to bottle Ask or go back to bed at night. There is no question then. Parents should understand such things as a signal that the child has a problem and conflict – and needs help resolving it.
Another is the desire to replace the parent who left the family everyday. Phrases such as “Mom, now I can be your husband!” Typical for nursery age. Then when a little boy takes his place in his parents’ bed and at the table the father He wants to take it upon himself, on the one hand, this increases his sense that he has managed to be equal to the adult model.
However, at the end of the day, this burdens the child and burdens her with large sizes guilt. This is why it is a good idea for a mother to repeatedly remind her son of her child’s limits in this case, for example by saying that when he grows up, he may be a father himself.
“Things will get better, you’ll see,” you say in your book to an affected person. How long does it take to process a separation?
Where there is a beginning, there is of course an end. This is as certain as Amen in the Church. How long this takes in individual cases depends on the specific living conditions and psychological conditions. I can say for sure that prepare to actively deal with the crisis and development opportunity Understanding and accepting the challenge greatly speeds up the process.
I can report from a group here in Braunschweig that after about a year and a half, more than half of the participants had acquired a new group partnership It started, something no one thought possible at first.
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You often hear that couples break up when the kids are away. why is that? And does it make less of a difference with children/young people?
As mentioned earlier, there are already unresolvable disputes before parting. Both loud and inside fight or quietly in the form of an increase Transfer of Ownership Did not matter. Of course, parents often showed their children the quality of the relationship that might have worked on a practical level, but where the emotional quality declined.
If things really go wrong, they also pass on that their children are a burden because they stay in an unsatisfying partnership for so long until they leave. The only thing that helps is openness and communication: and then we’re almost done “nest model” They broke up emotionally as a couple, as a family under one roof.
Another partner, your child’s half-brother, vacation planning, arguments about maintenance – these are the issues that matter to you after a breakup, even though you’d rather forget your ex and delete them from your life. What is the best way to deal with this?
Yes, it is a frustrating realization when parents finally realize it while they are there love relationship It can end, but not parental relationship. Only self-reflection helps here. What do I want, what can I do – always against the background of the respective stage I am in at the moment.
The most important question is: What do our children need? It is also important with I’m messages To work, to say what is important to me, what saddens me.
After separation, children often stay with their mothers. What are the reasons for that?
If you look at the statistics, babies usually stay with their mothers. the number of Single parents It increases slightly once children reach 14 years of age, thus becoming more independent. This certainly has to do with the traditional distribution of roles in fatherhood, but also with the social fact that men often still earn more than women, and therefore, especially when the children are young, The role of the breadwinner takes over. With young children, as long as they are breastfed, for example, the cause is obvious. But I am happy to note that something is changing in our society as well.
What conflicts do you often encounter between father and mother?
Basically it’s about Estimation Each of them contributes to the upbringing of children. and around them afraidLosing children to others, not being able to keep up. But it’s also about very real concerns, like when it’s a parent mental problems or addiction problems He has, or if he has duty in the family.
Several concrete conflicts touch on different attitudes towards age-related decisions and attitudes: in puberty These are topics such as contraception and drugs.
With young children, it’s all about the independence you can give them. Depending on the stage of development, neglect or the habits of the other person appears as a knockout criterion and sometimes you want to make a legal decision, for example, if a minor sunburn after visiting an outdoor pool is classified as bodily injury. But this passes.
questions and answers: Do you have a specific question about separation from children? Ute Steffens is available for this on her blog: trennskinder.blog. Questions can be asked anonymously via the contact form.
the book “With Children Through Separation – A Therapeutic Reading Book” published by editionclaus (ISBN 978-3-9822643-4-9).
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