Parenting & Divorce: Protecting The Emotional Development Of Children Amid Parents' Separation

By Jaweria Asif, Parent Herald November 11, 04:38 pm
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During the first six years of life, children develop emotional attachment to the person who takes care of them daily. This development is very important and its disruption can cause problems in childhood, adolescence and even adulthood.

Essential behaviors of personal and interpersonal well-being are part of the equation that helps kids emotionally develop. This is the ability to foster profound feelings of lasting relationships, the strength to tolerate when personal needs go unsatisfied sometimes, the attitudes or desires that lead to mutual cooperation and the motivation to learn and work.

The course of these processes is established in the first years of life by the quality of the bond that has been created. According to Natural Child, divorce and separation are part of a reality that deeply affects the lives of every member of the family. Before, during and after a divorce, varying intensities of emotional wounds open up.

According to Focus On The Family, the end of a marriage is the beginning of fierce and costly battles. Probably nothing is more destructive for kids than a fight for custody and/or visitation rights. Often fathers and mothers argue and have bitter fights to determine the conditions under when they will spend time with their children. Lawyers and judges enter the battlefield to offer arbitration for the family.

In making a decision, however, the goal should not be to favor the parent. Good decisions respect children's developmental needs and their point of views. Smart decisions will develop and maintain the love relationship that children have with both parents. Often parents are unable to see beyond their own interests.

However, when it comes to minimizing serious problems, parents should give importance and consideration to the well-being of their children. From birth to six years, children are, by nature, vulnerable. During divorce or separation, the emotional well-being of children is at great risk. There are important issues that should be considered.

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