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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Unbroken home

Divorce happens, but it doesn’t have to damage the children. Charlotte Gray, whose parents separated when she was three years old, offers a guide


One week, I live at Mum’s, the next, at Dad’s; except on Tuesdays, when I always stay at Mum’s no matter which week it is, and Wednesdays, when I always stay at Dad’s place. Growing up the child of a ‘sharedparenting’ agreement in the late 1990s was still unusual, and I used it to good effect in the playground. Even more unusual was the idea that you could be a happy, functional child of a ‘broken home’, but that’s the way it was for me. Now aged 28, I look back on my childhood with gratitude. My parents gave me a stable, happy foundation. And these are some of the ways in which they did it…

1 Shield a child from drama

I don’t remember my parents’ separation – it happened when I was three. Later, family members would insinuate that it was less than amicable, but I was protected from this. On the occasions when they had to see one another pickups, drop-off s, parents’ evenings – they were, for lack of a better word, formal. Information got relayed clearly and quickly, with polite smiles and pleasantries. The topic of conversation rarely veered from me, my school work, and my extra-curricular activities.

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