Divorce not only affects the persons involved but is tough on the child as well. Find out how divorce affects a child emotionally and how to help her deal with the unfortunate circumstances.
By Amrita Gracias
‘Divorce’ - The alarming and distressing ‘D’ word that, ideally, no child should see his parents go through.
But, divorces do happen, and when they happen, a child’s entire world comes crashing down. For, the child has to put up with the multitude of changes that begin happening in his life and its consequences.
A child has a unique relationship with each of his parents. Although he values them independently, he views his parents as one and requires their combined love, support and nurturing. So, when something as catastrophic as a divorce happens, the child is initially shocked that his family, which was so familiar and natural to him, has ceased to exist. He then begins to feel a sense of insecurity and instability caused by everything strange that is happening around him. “The child’s basic attachment process with either of the parents is hampered and he is unsure how to suddenly deal with the absence of a parent and with the unusualness of the situation,” says Ms Sonalee Chattopadhyay, Clinical Psychologist, Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital. “It is difficult for the child to accept only one parent, and a parent cannot expect the child to be comfortable or consenting to this unexpected change immediately,” she explains.
Divorce proceedings can often get nasty. Young children aren’t able to deal with such a situation because of their lack of emotional maturity, although teenagers, to an extent, do understand and try to cope with it.
However, divorce between parents has ill-effects on almost every child, and may manifest in one or more of the following ways:
Witnessing parents undergoing a divorce is a traumatic experience for any child. You can minimise the negative emotional effects and help your child adjust to the new circumstances with your support, sensitivity and emotional maturity.
Let not the ugly face of divorce come between you and your child. Ensure that your child continues to feel secure and comfortable despite the hiccups caused in her life because of your divorce.
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