Your Parenting Plan
A guide to making practical arrangements for your children if you live apart.
Talking to your children
The more you can help them understand what's happening and why, the easier it will be for them to adjust.
- Explain the fact of your separation so that they understand the changes that are taking place (you don't have to give detailed reasons).
- Reassure them that your separation does not alter the fact that you both love them and will continue to be their parents.
- Don't criticise or blame the other parent.
- Take time to explore how they're feeling and what they think about the changes taking place.
- Keep your promises. Your children need to be able to trust and rely on you. This is very important right now.
- Reassure them that they are not to blame for your separation.
- Try to show a united front to your children and assure them that you both want what's best for them.
Texts, emails and social media
If you can talk to your children about important matters face-to-face, over the phone or by video call, it's easier to get a sense of how what you're saying is affecting them – and vice versa.
Text messages and emails are quick to create and send but can be easily misunderstood and may be read by people they're not intended for.
Take care when communicating via social media too (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.). Unless you use a closed group or 'personal' or 'private' messaging, other people in your children's social circle may be able to see your conversation.
"I liked that mum and dad both asked me what I thought."
To request a hard copy of this publication, email YourParentingPlan@gov.scot
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