Handling Parenting After Separation

A broken relationship is a nightmare in ones life. It is highly traumatic when a long term relation comes to an end. Reasons may be immense to break apart but the impact of separation remains as an unhealed wound for a long period. Time is the best remedy to bring about the life back to normal for adults in such situations. But the impact of separation is more unpleasant on children.
| Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Children groom well in a secure environment parented by a strongly bonded couple. When circumstances resulting in separation arise, it becomes very difficult for parents to convince their children regarding the life after divorce.

Indeed handling children post divorce is a critical matter and needs to be managed sensibly.

Give them the time to cope up with the stress of choosing to live with one parent.

Children have certain dependencies on both parents. So the decision of living with single parent deprives them of the affection and support that they used to get from the other parent. In such situations, it is wise to give children enough time to overcome the stress and adjust to the new environment. Some children may get affected emotionally and show an aggressive behavior. So parents need to understand and handle the circumstances patiently.

Parents need to open up with children and explain the reason for separation.

It is always sensible to converse openly the reason for the divorce then to keep secrets. Limited communication of issues creates confusion, anxiety and insecurity in the minds of the children. Communication also does not mean simply blaming each other for the break up but sincerely speaking out all matters where fault could have been of both.

Assure that the child would not lose the other parent forever.

Staying with one parent should not mean breaking off from the other parent forever. Parents should not forget that even if their bonding for each other no more lasts, it is not the same in case of their children. The children should be given the freedom to be in touch with the parent who might be staying distance away post separation.

Parent who has moved away from the child should continue to show concern as before.

Though one might lose the affection towards ex-life partner, the attitude should not be the same towards the child. It is important for the child’s well being. If the parent shows care and concern towards the child, as before, it keeps the child happy and secure. There ways of doing so, like mailing letters, making phone calls, sending gifts on birthdays or other special occasions, clicking photographs, celebrating holidays and festivals etc.

Give sufficient time to the child to accept a new relation that either of the parents has developed.

The fact remains that parents have no replacement. Relationships cannot be forced; they develop in a course of time. A ‘new’ parent is difficult to accept because then comparisons arise. How soon can the child adjust to the new relation depends on many factors like age, nature, situation etc. A lot effort would be required from both sides to develop this new relation because the child may experience a feeling of disloyalty, anger or even shame. The new partner cannot replace the love of the real parent.

It is not only about accepting a new parent, other relations also follow.

The new parent may bring in new relations which the child is expected to accept. A sense of jealousy may develop within the child if more attention is being given to the new relations like step-sister or step-brother, grandparents etc. It is in this situation that the step-parent needs to act maturely by setting a balance. The step-parent should not impose rules and regulations on the child but in turn first understand what kind of lifestyle the child has been following and make certain adjustments accordingly. This develops a sense of trust in the mind of the child towards this new relation.

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