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Make an effort to co-parent together

* continued from Page 23

"On a personal level I'm very motivated to support families in this situation because I see in a health context how hard it is when parents separate and children are living in families where a parent is under stress and mentally unwell."

Sharry also developed a 'Parents Plus - Parenting when Separated' programme to offer support for parents who are preparing for, going through or have gone through a separation or divorce to help them and their children cope.

Taking steps to manage your own stress and ensure you are personally coping is the first of four key goals parents should aim towards following a separation that will determine the wellbeing of their children.

"Number two is to co-operate with the child's other parents and put effort into working with them so you can co-parent together. That's often the hardest one. We try to make people understand they are no-longer an intimate relationship, but more of a business-type relationship. "Number three is for both parents to maintain a positive relationship with their children and really work hard to do so by talking and spending time with their children and the fourth point is to minimise other changes in your child's life."

* Parenting when Separated - Helping Your Children Cope and Thrive by John Sharry is published by Veritas and is available now. For further advice on parenting and family life visit Dr John Sharry's website www.solutiontalk.ie.

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