In 2021, “MILLIE AND HER MAGIC PUPPET SHOW” will form part of the resources produced by our charity the TO BE LOVED NETWORK. Our focus is to ensure that children are given a voice, whilst navigating parental separation and family violence.

Nearly one in two marriages end in divorce; about 48% of those marriages have children and some 65% of those children are exposed to some form of family violence.

Many children who find themselves in this particular pool are experiencing trauma in a variety of forms. Too often that trauma is overlooked, as their parents focus on the breakdown of their personal relationship with each other. In making sense of their separation, parents often travel stages of grief, denial, anger and depression. Acceptance is usually the last post on that journey. The sad thing is that often children are left behind on that journey, wondering what has just happened.

With no lifeguard monitoring that pool, children are left hopelessly alone, with so many questions left unanswered about their parents’ split. Often their stability is undermined by a relocation from their homes, their schools, the other parent and their loved ones. Their sense of threat triggers an unhealthy emotional or psychological response, overwhelming any potential capacity to cope. Adding to their trauma, innocently or otherwise, parents fail to contain themselves and involve or engage their children in the battlefield of family warfare.

Without careful attention and therapy, as required, a child’s trauma remains unresolved: their development is affected. The fall-out sees children having long terms social issues forming friends; children suffering from anxiety, depression, a lack of concentration; children drawn to addictive behaviours: we see children, whose right to thrive and contribute as solid members of our community, being totally undermined and sinking helplessly.

Children are totally dependent on their parents, psychologically, emotionally and physically.

Their experienced trauma is unique and, unlike adults, their perceptions are different as their brains are still developing.

There is not one parent that I have ever met who does not genuinely love their child; who does not want their child to achieve, succeed and embrace all the wonderful things that childhood has to offer. Yet children in the middle of parental separation and family violence are often the silent victims. It is time that their needs are prioritized and addressed. Most of all, we need to listen to them and keep them safe from the exposure to any form of family violence. This counts for so much.

On a positive note children can recover from childhood trauma. As parents, we need to stand as lifeguards at that pool and supervise our kids’ emotional and psychological needs. We can do better. By acting in our children’s best interests and actually hearing what they say, we can do so much to effect change and ensure that the next generation of kids are trauma free and truly liberated from sub/conscious distress and the potential baggage of past generations.

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