How to support children through separation and divorce – A parent’s guide

How to support children through separation and divorce – A parent’s guide

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I am a parenting coach; I am divorced but most importantly I am a Mum to three teenagers. Navigating the transition through separation and divorce is emotional for everyone and can be incredibly challenging. Overwhelmed parents can find it hard to keep the needs of their children at the heart of the process.

Through my work and drawing on my experience, I help parents focus on the emotional journey and the needs of each unique child. Our goal is to help each child process the change, manage the transition, adjust, and thrive.

In a series of workshops for the FMA, we’ll look at tools that help parents tune into their children, become effective listeners, and help their children talk.

We explore how to give children the consistency, security, and structure they need to feel safe. We learn how to support children’s motivation, self-esteem, and self-worth during a time when they can feel fragile.

Armed with positive parenting skills and a clear understanding of each child’s needs, parents feel more confident, more compassionate, and more emotionally connected to their children – during and after divorce.

In this first session, Parenting through Separation and Divorce, we look at what children need and the vital role of parental presence.  How can parents help their children feel safe, understood, and secure?

We look at how the appreciation of each child’s unique temperament plays an important role in tuning into their needs. We learn how to support the different emotional journeys through divorce and how to help children adjust while deepening the ongoing connection. We’ll learn the skill of Descriptive Praise, to support motivation, self-esteem, improve behaviour and deepen the relationship.​

We explore how to give children the structure, predictability, and consistency they need to feel respected, safe, and connected to each of their parents during the transition and change that divorce inevitably brings.


Heather Rutherford

Heather is a parenting coach, founder of The Parenting Partnership, parenting consultant to the school’s advisory service Talk Education, and a Care for the Family facilitator.

Heather’s mission is to share practical effective positive parenting skills that not only help parents raise happy, confident and resilient children but that transform family lives.  In all her work, she draws on the latest research as well as her own experience of parenting three unique and sometimes challenging children while guiding her family through cancer and divorce.

Her goal is to empower parents with skills that include an understanding of temperament, growth mindset, emotional intelligence and positive discipline,  that help them feel confident, calm and deeply connected to their children.

She has a particular interest in using these positive parenting skills to help families through the challenges of separation and divorce.