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Entries in separation (3)


Talking to your children about separation 

Scottish lawyer/mediator Scott Docherty has published an e-Book for parents: "How to talk to your kids about Separation", promoted by this attractive animation and available on Kindle for £3.12.

While admitting that he can't anticipate absolutely every likely question that children might raise, Scott's book covers a lot of very useful territory and should really help anyone facing this tricky issue.  He explains how in his work as a lawyer he prepares for making submissions by thinking through the situation in advance - a technique that could work just as well for a parent preparing for a tricky chat with a child.

The book covers a wide range of connected topics, such as dealing with separation anxiety and how mediation can help.  He points out that children aren't pawns to be squabbled over but vulnerable youngsters caught in a disturbing transition.  Their parents can do a lot to help them - or can make things much worse.

We await with interest his next publication: "How to talk to your ex after separation".


BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour Lone Parent Week

This week BBC Radio 4 is running a series of episodes on Lone Parenting during Women's Hour.

Monday's segment on lone parenting discussed the stigma of being a lone parent.

Tuesday's segment discussed the economics of single parenting.

Today Tamsin Greig had an episode on Single Parents: Negotiating Childcare. The programme discussed "how best to negotiate with the absent parent on issues of childcare – such as spending time with the children and holidays; setting rules on boundaries and discipline – from food to bedtimes and video games; how to make big decisions such as choosing schools; and how to provide a united front so the child doesn’t play you off against one another."

Women's Hour is on BBC Radio 4 FM weekdays 10:00am - 11:00am. Lone Parent Week will continue until Friday 11th May.

BBC Radio 4 programmes can be downloaded as podcasts. Podcasts are available to download for 7 days after the programme is broadcast. Alternatively you can listen again on BBC iPlayer.


FNF research maps "The Father's Journey"

David Lammy MP 'The Father's Journey' is a research report carried out jointly by Families Need Fathers and the Fatherhood Institute for the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood.

The survey examined fathers' experiences in the years before and after separation, and their use of support services during this time.  The results revealed that separation can often have a dramatically negative impact upon a father's employment prospects, health and mental wellbeing, and that much work still needs to be done to ensure that these fathers can access the information and support they need.

Fathers who separate from their wives or partners face a tough transition which involves increased risk of unemployment, absence from work through sickness and declining mental health.  The survey of 295 separating and recently separated dads found that two-fifths (41%) had changed their working patterns in the year before separation, and just over half (53%) in the year following.

Overall, 11% of the fathers who responded to the employment questions became unemployed or were signed off sick in the pre-separation year, and 22% in the year after.  Those reporting changes in the year pre-separation were most likely to report moving to a different employer (46%), increased working hours (30%) and changing position within the same company (24%). Changes in the post-separation year were most likely to involve moving to a different employer (34%), becoming unemployed (33%) and being signed off work due to illness (19%).

Three-fifths of survey respondents (61%) said their mental health had worsened during the post-separation year, and 54% in the year before separation. Half (49%) said their relationship with their children was weaker in the year after separation (and 19% in the year before) – although interestingly, 35% said their relationship had improved post-separation (and 29% in the year before).

David Lammy, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood, commented, "These are very worrying figures. They show the real need for public services to offer relationship support for all families, when times are good and when times are more difficult. The hidden suffering revealed by this report should not be ignored."