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Parenting Through Separation

Methodist Mission Southern —

“It seems to me that almost nothing in life is so important as being loved and cared for as a child. Maybe only an early death ever means more, has more bearing on the ultimate shape of an existence. Even a vast lottery win or some other great stroke of fortune means little in comparison, because the legacy of one is liable to affect so profoundly the reaction to the other.” Iain Banks

Parenting during ordinary times is hardly ever easy. Parenting through separation brings additional complications and stresses. Ending a marriage or a long-term relationship brings many adjustments, and former partners often find themselves in the middle of confusing and overwhelming conflict.

Children experiencing the separation of their parents are often torn, distressed, and bewildered by the changes they are going through; their overwhelmed parents frequently struggle to ensure each home stays a consistently loving and caring environment.

Being open to strategies that help the entire family to communicate and be mindful of every family member’s needs whilst planning a new course of what constitutes family life can seem insurmountable, one of those mountains too lofty to contemplate climbing and many simply do not have the skills to create and stick to a plan that deals with the problems of separation, sustains the certainty of love and care across what is now multiple households, and provides the security that children always need.

Methodist Mission Southern’s Parenting Through Separation (PTS) courses give free information to help families get through relationship changes. The course can also help grandparents and other involved family and whānau members.

In 2020 5,973 children under 17 years of age had parents who were granted a divorce, as more children now live in homes with unmarried parents this statistic, barely scratches the surface of the number of children having to negotiate the unexpected life changes that come with the breakup of a home.

The economic and behavioural problems are well documented from having parents divided, “One broad-based study also shows that people have an easier time recovering after the death of a parent as opposed to a divorce”!

The Mission’s PTS courses give the support and skills to negotiate the changes and offers resources such as how separation affects children, what’s best for children when their parents no longer live together, and tools/tips for dealing with the separation, including how to make a parenting plan, and what the law requires. We have had 169 attendees over the past 12 months, however not only in Dunedin, we also offer these courses in Cromwell, Oamaru, Queenstown, Wanaka, Balclutha and online.

If you would like to support the Mission’s Parenting Through Separation, please get in touch.

Contact Julie julier@mmsouth.org.nz to hear more stories of the Mission’s impact via our e-news or sign-up Methodist Mission Southern | Facebook