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Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Separated parents must take care of their kids’ mental wellbeing

Children absorb the world around them like a sponge. They soak their formative little lives into it so much so that as they grow up, it plays a major role in defining who they turn out to be.

Published: July 8, 2020 12:34:26 pm
parenting, broken family Never fight in front of children. (Source: Getty Images)

By Saurav Das

When I was a child, my toys, my make-believe world, my parents, my aunts and uncles, all made up my little world. I remember when I was three years old or thereabout, I witnessed many hostile situations between my parents. Those are vivid memories that at the age of 46 are as fresh as yesterday. This brings us to our first point of discussion, memory.

Children absorb the world around them like sponge so much so that as they grow up, it plays a major role in defining who they turn out to be. Warring parents rarely understand the mind of children. They take their children for granted. If it is one child, the precaution has to be even more. So the first and the most essential thing to care about for children is their memory; what they go through, what they see, what they feel, what they are a part of. Every situation, every experience, has to be analysed and decided if at all the children should be a part of it. The past needs to be remembered with maturity and a good understanding of the situation.

Read| ‘Children are first to get affected during a divorce’

The second most important thing is never to fight in front of the children. Children get confused. They get scared. And that scars their mind, their thought process, and their personality. Children should be explained by both parents in a very loving way, the reason for their separation, their disagreements, and if the children are matured enough, their views should be taken into account. Every problem has a solution. The solution has to be sought and worked out.

A major visible effect of separation and the infighting that children experience is loneliness. Despite their differences, parents must not ignore their children under any circumstances. If it is a case of a single child, both parents must love the child as much as they can and talk positively to him or her.

This brings us to another point which is very crucial. Parents must never talk ill about their partners to the child. Influencing children is the biggest mistake they make. It does have long-term consequences which parents need to be aware of. For example, when the children mature and decipher the issues they might see through the lies or the influencing factors and lose respect for either one both partners.

Read| 5 co-parenting tips for couples going through divorce

During the children’s formative years, education is the most important thing to care about. Therefore, parents must watch the grades of their children. More than that, they must ensure that the academic focus is not lost. Distraction in many forms, especially through means that promote self-gratification, or a place, or a platform, where they feel wanted and loved, even temporarily, are signs of impending danger.

Parents must not drag the children to the police station as a witness. Parents must not physically fight in front of the children. They should never use abusive words in front of them. Relatives of both sides should never take sides of the parents and try to sway their minds. Children should be engaged in group activities with other children. That includes sports, games, debates, art, etc.

There are various symptoms that may define children from broken families as they become adults. Here are a few:

*Split personality
*Low self-esteem
*Argumentative
*Gender bias
*People pleaser
*Over anxious
*Hard on themselves
*Lonely and isolated by nature
*Frustrated and anguished

Such people need company of friends and family. They need an abundance of love and care and they give back what they get with gratitude.

(The author is founder, Soul’s Connect.)

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