Children need nurturing relationship with both parents during divorce

Children want and need a continuous and nurturing relationship with both parents. Parents should facilitate and encourage their children to spend quality time with the other parent. There are some instances where extraordinary circumstances exist that prevent the children from having a healthy relationship with both parents.

Children and divorceWhen a parent discourages a relationship between a child and the other parent, prevents contact, or speaks ill of the parent in the child’s presence, it puts pressure on the child to reject the “target” parent. These tactics amount to what psychologists and family law professionals call parental alienation.

Divorce and child custody disputes bring lots of emotions to the surface, including anger, grief and resentment. It is common for families to experience a wave of emotions. It is imperative that parents learn to curb their frustrations so as to avoid robbing their children of a relationship with the other parent. “Programming” a child to reject the other parent is not an appropriate way to deal with the mixture of emotions and can be considered maltreatment of the child, and has been shown to be a source of lasting trauma.

In our practice, we have seen clients who have gone a long period of time without having access to or even communication with their child because of the other parent’s action. This kind of parental alienation can be detrimental to the long-term health, wellbeing and development of the child – even if the child insists he or she is freely choosing to forgo contact with the target parent. Consider scheduling appointments for your children to meet with a mental health provider to help them better cope with the changes.

If you are concerned that your relationship with your child is being undermined by the other parent or if you recognize that you have been employing these tactics yourself, even subconsciously, we can help you find resources to protect your child and get the parent-child relationships back on track. One resource you may find helpful is our Parenting Performance Agreement.

For more information on divorce and family law issues, email, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Interested in learning more about the emotions that can surface during a divorce, read my free e-book, “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?

     Posted on March 11, 2015 at 9:10 am | No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *