How Divorce Makes Your Child Mistrustful of Lasting Relationships

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on July 3, 2009 at 4:17 am

As is true with most mammals, a child’s survival depends on her attachment to her caregivers – which is usually her parents. This dependency has been hardwired into humans by nature for thousands of years. So it should come as no surprise that children form strong attachments to their mothers and fathers. It would be a surprise, and cause for concern, if they didn’t. This attachment, or bond, is a sign that the relationship between the child and her parents is healthy.

Good useful, advice for men getting divorce as well as women is to realize that as she begins to grow and as she comes into contact with more people, her bonds to her parents become a bit less. Simultaneously, however, she will begin to form attachments with others such as cousins and relatives, neighbors, teachers, and so on. This will typically happen somewhere between the ages of three to five. But if this bond is weakened too quickly or too traumatically, she may become forever distrustful of attachments and have relationship troubles for the rest of her life.

What is the effect on a child when a couple gets divorced? Her mind and emotions are suddenly thrown into upheaval. In her mind, the once unshakeable bond that she’s relied upon since she was born, is about to be smashed. In her young mind, she sees the divorce as desertion or a betrayal of trust. After all, If one of her parents, who she has trusted and relied upon since birth, is leaving her, how can she ever trust anyone who she may become attached to in the future to stay with her? And for many kids, this feeling will stay with them well into their adulthood.

And the feeling of being abandoned goes beyond this. One parent has already left her. What confidence can she have that the other parent won’t leave her also? To a young child, this unspoken fear of being alone in the world can be terrifying. In many children this anxiousness is so perceptible that they begin to go through major behavior changes. Some kids will become clingy as if they’re afraid to let you out of their sight, lest you not return. Some will act out in bouts of rage or temper tantrums in a desire to be noticed. Other children may become emotionally withdrawn in an effort to save their feelings from further hurt.

For a child, learning that their parents are divorcing constitutes a harsh wake up call that the world is not what they thought it was. Their home is no longer a secure refuge from the rest of the world.

In order to ease some of the child’s natural fears, the way in which concerned parents handle the divorce is critical. Being able to cope with an experience such as divorce is not natural – it’s learned. Children don’t have the life experiences that would enable them to cope with it. Heck, many adults don’t have the know how to cope with divorce. But the children need reassurance from both parents that they are not abandoning them and that they will stay in their lives. This, more than anything else, will help to reassure a child that the bonds that they formed were not for naught.

For the sake of the child’s future growth, it is extremely important that the parent and child attachment remain strong. Many behaviour experts believe that the quality of the initial attachment of a baby to her parents is among the more significant forecasters of how well that person will form relationships for the rest of her life.

via How Divorce Makes Your Child Mistrustful of Lasting Relationships.

  1. […] parents become a bit less. Simultaneously, however, she will begin to … View original here: How Divorce Makes Your Child Mistrustful of Lasting Relationships … This entry is filed under Divorce. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS […]

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