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COVID-19 – information for parents who live apart

Julie Waring

These are worrying times for people who co-parent in separate households.

Many will have the gut-wrenching panic of thinking the other parent may stop them seeing their children, considering the enhanced COVID19 updated restrictions.

Rest assured though, the government have confirmed that both parents can still spend time with their children.

A parent cannot use the restrictions on everyday life as a tool to stop or restrict children from seeing their other parent.

The announcement came from the Cabinet Minister Michael Gove who this morning confirmed that children under 18 can move between separated parents during the corona virus restrictions.

This is a very unsettling and scary time for us as adults, so can you imagine how it would be from a child’s mind? It is therefore vital as parents to ensure as best as possible that they are kept to their same routine.

If there is a court order in place it must be complied with unless to do so would put them at risk.

It is acknowledged however, that in cases of self-isolation it may not be possible, hopefully parents will not be dishonest and use this as an excuse to deny their children time spent with their other parent.

During these times, encourage Skype, Facetime and any other means for your children to contact each parent, family and friends.

Let’s not let our children suffer.

Advice for speaking to your children about coronavirus

The NSPCC has offered the following guidance for parents;

  1. Ask what they know already and be calm when informing them about the facts.
  2. Don’t dismiss their fears and reassure them you’re there to listen
  3. Encourage them to talk to other young people in a safe way – such as on Childline’s message boards

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