Braunschweig expert: How children do when they are separated – Braunschweig – Current news

In numerous families, the term is “Separation” no longer a foreign word today. Ute Steffens has followed many parents in a separation situation and worked with them. For educational scientist Brunswick children’s development is always in focus. The 62-year-old has now published a therapeutic book entitled “With Children Through Separation”. Your chapters are classic as one therapy divided into “sessions”. In the interview, she talks about the separation phases and possible mistakes in dealing with children.

Separations happen everywhere – what are the differences for childless couples compared to parents?

Parents have children – and in my experience, they want them to survive the separation unscathed. Also intact family the epitome of longing and goals in life for most people, even today for young people – as studies show. When it does not work, it feels like failure.


Psychologically, parental separation is massive life crisis, which means that parents are often inevitably very busy with themselves. So much so that at times they do not have the strength to give their children at all security and orientation to offer what they so desperately need. In the worst case, a species is formed vicious circle out overloaded and guiltywhich is only provided by self reflection and authentic, responsible announcement dissolve.

Many parents think they can hide their crisis from their children, but children have very sharp antennae. Of course, they notice when parents have conflicts – and if they are not talked to, they often draw the conclusion, given their developmental opportunities and beliefs, that they are error by the situation.

A separation is associated with anger, sadness, despair for oneself. In your book, a mother quotes the following: “Do not make any mistakes now!” What are the biggest mistakes when dealing with children after a new separation?

The biggest mistakes occur when conflicts arise – and not only or only after the breakup. are most harmful to the development of healthy children loyalty conflicts. Children must not have the feeling that they have to choose between mother and father and thus against the other.

Children need both parents! Because parents are their roots identity.

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 identity, that is, for what makes a man, her father, and what makes a woman her mother. Parents do not have to agree on what the other is doing, but they should make the child feel that they are doing love to respect the other.

Children often feel guilty. What does a breakup do to the kids?

In terms of development, children initially relate moods and events in the family to themselves. Especially young children’s thinking is often referred to in psychology as “magical thinking” described. So they believe that they can make a difference through the power of their desires.

An example of this is the red traffic light: If young children count to three and the traffic light actually turns green, they think they actually did. So, when they get angry at a parent and want their father or mother away, they feel responsible if the father actually moves.

They write that after such an incident, children return to earlier stages of development: to drink from the bottle again – or to want to sleep in their mother’s / father’s bed again. Should parents allow it or oppose it?

So-called regressions are always an indication that children are being challenged or overwhelmed. And the smaller children are, the bigger the changes, such as. the birth of a child siblings or just one separation. Then they fall back to an earlier stage of development by going back to Bottle require or go back to bed at night. This is not a permit. Such a thing must be understood by the parents as an indication that the child has a problem, a conflict – and needs help to solve it.

Another is the desire to take the place of the parent who has left the everyday family. Phrases like “Mom, now I can be your husband!” are typical of kindergarten age. So when a little boy in his parents’ bed and at the table takes his place fars wants to take on, this on the one hand increases his sense that he has managed to be on an equal footing with the adult role model.

In the end, however, this overwhelms the child and burdens it with great guilt. Therefore, it is good if the mother repeatedly reminds the son of his child’s boundaries in this case, for example by saying that when he grows up, he may be the father himself.

In your book, you say to someone who is affected, “It’s getting better, you need to see.” How long does it take before a fracture is treated?

Where there is a beginning, of course, there is an end. It is as safe as amen in the church. How long it takes in each case depends on the specific living conditions and mental conditions. I can say with certainty that the willingness 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 almost a year and a half, more than half of the participants have a new partnership launched, something that no one thought was possible in the beginning.

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One often hears couples going apart when the kids are out of the house. Why? And does it make less of a difference for the kids / young adults?

As already mentioned, there are already insoluble conflicts before the separation. Whether it’s loud and in Competing or quietly in the form of a rising alienation does not matter. And of course, parents have often shown their children a quality of relationship that may have worked on a pragmatic level, but where the emotional quality fell by the wayside.

If things go really wrong, they also convey that their children are a burden because they stay in the unsatisfactory partnership until they move out. The only thing that helps is openness and communication: And then we are almost there “ready model” – emotionally separated as a couple, as a family under one roof.

Another partner, a half-sibling to your own child, holiday planning, altercation quarrels – these are issues that worry you after a separation, even if you would rather forget your former partner and delete them from your life. What is the best way to handle this?

Yes, it is a frustrating realization when parents eventually realize that while they are love affair can finish but not parental relationship. Only self-reflection helps here. What do I want, what can I do – always based on the respective phase I am in at the moment.

And the most important question is: What do our children need? It is also important with In messages to work, to say what’s important to me, what makes me sad.

After separation, children often stay with their mothers. What are the reasons for this?

If you look at statistics, children usually stay with their mothers. The number of single fathers increases slightly when the children are 14 years old, then more independent. This certainly has something to do with the traditional division of roles in parenthood, but also with the social fact that men often still earn more than women and therefore, especially when children are young, provider role take over. With young children, as long as they are breastfed, for example, the cause is obvious. But I am glad to note that something is also changing in our society.

What conflicts do you often experience between father and mother?

Basically, it’s about Appreciation of what each contributes to the upbringing of the children. And about them fear, to lose the children to the others, not to be able to keep up. But it is also about very real fears, such as reaching a parent mental problems or substance abuse problems has, or if it power in the family.

Many concrete conflicts affect the different attitudes to age-related decisions and attitudes: In it puberty these are topics like contraception and drugs.

With smaller children, it’s about what autonomy you can give them. Depending on the developmental stage, the other person’s negligence or habits appear as a knockout criterion and sometimes even want to be legally settled if, for example, a slight sunburn after a visit to an outdoor pool is assessed as physical harm. But it passes.

Questions and answers: Do you have a specific question about a separation with children? Ute Steffens is available for this on his blog: trennskinder.blog. Questions can be asked anonymously via a contact form.

The book “With Children Through Separation – A Therapeutic Reading Book” is published by editionclaus (ISBN 978-3-9822643-4-9).

Questions for the article? E-mail us: redaktion.online-bzv@funkemedien.de

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