We have written before of the incredible work single parents, predominantly mums, do and how much we support their fantastic parenting. However a clear majority of the referrals that we receive from school, CAMHS or parents themselves, have family breakdown as a cause of referral. The result of this could mean that the child or teen might experience depression, self-harm, high anxiety or similar.
Fegans don’t judge anyone. Many of Fegans’ families are blended, my own family has suffered with a 75% divorce rate, far above the national average. So when I talk about family breakdown and the huge damage it causes I speak neither lightly nor judgementally but gently and with trepidation for the huge potential for hurt. However the truth about family breakdown is that it can be devastating for children, simply devastating. Some emerge okay but some struggle. Fegans invests huge resources in trying to minimise the effects on those that come to us with emotional scars. We cannot always eradicate the pain, just reduce it so that children can continue to function.
We believe that, when families consider breaking down, they should also consider the hurt, damage and huge distress they inflict on their children. We encourage parents to keep their children at the centre of their thinking throughout the process, regardless of perceived injustices or the rights or wrongs in their own relationship. This is so hard to do and often so unbearably unfair when there is always so much pain, but the hard truth is that Fegans therapy waiting lists could be halved if parents had prioritised their children’s emotional welfare first, second and last before the breakup rather than after.