As a Divorce and Separation Specialist who has assisted many families during family transitions, I have commonly guided parents in how to talk with their children about Divorce and Separation. Although many parents dread having this difficult conversation with their children – if it is done well it can build more secure parent child relationships. As a counsellor working with youth and families it is inevitable that one will encounter parents who are separating, and it is valuable to have some practical tips for parents as they lead their children through a changing family landscape. As a counsellor you may also be going through your own family changes at some point and struggling with how to help your children while you help others. Challenging events and difficult conversations are part of life and can be opportunities for growth. Talking to children about these difficult topics can demonstrate to them that the adults have their best interests at heart, and that they can come to the adults for information and guidance.
Often, as parents, we are interested in learning about how to raise our children to be the best they can be. Not as commonly do we ask “How is my child raising me?” After all, as adults, we are still growing up too!
Let’s face it: our children have a way of bringing out emotions in us that we may not have known we had before becoming parents! We may find ourselves having a temper tantrum or digging in our heels with a big “No!”, or trying to retreat away from handling the situation. It is in these moments that we are being offered a mirror. And if we have the courage to look, with compassion towards ourselves, we are being given the unique opportunity to grow-up and benefit our children in the process.
Authors: Alyson Jones MA, RCC & Ida Harvey, MACP, CA, RCC
Money is often a “hot topic” in a relationship. Clinical Director Alyson Jones and her Associate Ida Harvey, who is both a CA (Chartered Accountant) and a Relationship Therapist answer some tough questions about money and relationships. At Alyson Jones & Associates we believe in honest conversations and the sharing of practical information.
In June 2014, I became an Associate with Alyson Jones & Associates. At that time, I joined the Family Forward Program. This is a community-based counselling program that provides therapy to separated families who have experienced a parent child attachment disruption that may have been caused by parental alienation, estrangement or a combination of both. While I came into this therapeutic work with over 30 years clinical experience, the Family Forward Program felt like it was truly a “trial by fire” experience. Participating in the delivery of therapy to high conflict families where there is alienation, estrangement or attachment disruption has been the most challenging work I have undertaken.
Alyson Jones & Associates works extensively with High Conflict Separation/Divorce cases. We observe many cases where children are feeling forced/pressured to choose between one or the other parent. In many cases, children have been allowed to discontinue their parenting time with one of the parents. When this happens, children are placed in a developmentally dangerous situation. Most of these children carry deep guilt about making this decision even when supported by the “Favoured Parent”. The longer this continues the higher the risk of long term emotional harm.