“What is the impact of parental separation in young children and how can parents support their children throughout and after separation?”
Separation can be a very daunting experience in young children’s lives and can impact severely on their growing skills; such as communication and social skills. Children can become vulnerable. Children need the continuing affection and support of both parents. “Not all parents are able to continue a relationship with their children after separation. There are no easy solutions to these difficult situations”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of children under 18 years of age affected by divorce has decreased from 46,337 in 2010 ...view middle of the document...
Couples who are separated and can provide this for their child will ensure that their circumstances in being separated will have the least effect on their child/ren. Children are very sensitive to conflict between parents especially if they are in the middle of it. While disagreement is normal in any family, a continuance of conflict makes life very difficult for children. In fact, research shows that this is one of the serious factors affecting children's adjustment after separation or divorce. It is proven that couples that fight in front of their children or who criticize the other parent weaken their children’s sense of safety and will negatively affect the child’s sense of self and purpose in the world.
Convincing a young child of the permanence of divorce can be hard when his or her intense longing fantasizes that somehow, some way, mum and dad will be living back together again someday. They rely on wishful thinking to help alleviate the pain of loss, holding onto hope for a parental reunion much longer than does the adolescent who is quicker to accept the finality of this unwelcome family change. Studies show that parents who attend family celebrations and holiday events to re-establish family closeness for the child only feed the child's fantasy and delay his or her adjustment. For the parent who divorces with a child, the priority is establishing a sense of family order and predictability. This means observing the three R's required to restore a child's trust in security, familiarity, and dependency - Routines, Rituals, and Reassurance.
The way the parent handles the separation affects how the child copes with it. During that time of difficulty, they might forget that they are the parent and that the child should not be parenting the parent. They should live an everyday normal life in which a child should play, attend school, excursions and visit family and friends.
Parents who ascertain household and visitation routines allow the child to create rituals to feel more in control of their life and it provides reassurance that the parents are still lovingly connected to the child as ever, and are committed to making a comfortable arrangement to work.
One way divorce and separation leads to other life stresses for both the parent and child is a reduction in financial resources. Studies have found that children who are separated from one parent during childhood tend to have lower income and education levels as adults. Not only do the financial resources become limited, but the remaining parent may also have...