08202017Headline:

Helping Children of Single Parent Homes Deal With Abandonment Issues

1x1.trans Helping Children of Single Parent Homes Deal With Abandonment IssuesAbandoned Helping Children of Single Parent Homes Deal With Abandonment Issues It’s just natural that both parents invest in their children. Our biology, evolution and social conventions all make parental involvement a necessity. Children need practically an infinite amount of love and caring and it is much easier when the responsibilities of parenting can be shared. But what happens when one parent leaves (either voluntarily or involuntarily)? How do we help our children deal with abandonment issues when we are faced with raising them alone? This piece was written to help you deal with some of those issues and answer your questions.

Broken Families, Broken Children? When one of the parents leaves the micro system of the family, the burden is far heavier on the remaining parent and there are certain difficulties for the child as well. Children, especially younger children, are finding it hard to understand the decision to leave the family. They want and need both parents regardless of the relationship issues between them. I am not saying that the tensions of a bad marriage or relationship do any good for a child, but they are driven by their emotions and not by the rationality of the situation. Their emotions and desires suggest that they love both parents and want to be with them both.

It is very common that children blame themselves for the separation of the parents. Feelings of guilt and worthlessness are very common. The feeling of abandonment can turn to anger directed toward the parent who left, but in most cases this anger is an unconscious method to eliminate guilt.

Feelings of Rejection & Abandonment The mixed feelings of longing, anger and self-blame can culminate in the total rejection of the absent parent. The remaining parent has a huge responsibility to influence the development of the child. Problems with self-esteem, coping with stress or the relationship with the absent parent might suffer. The “loss” of one parent makes the thought of possibly losing the other parent as well very painful for the child. The child might begin to cling to the remaining parent, wishing he or she will fill the void.

Another important issue is the feeling of abandonment regarding the remaining parent. The child wants to spend as much time with the parent as possible, but it can be difficult sometimes, because he or she has to work and to deal with the challenges of life. The child might get another feeling of abandonment even when the remaining parent is actually there. The separation, or more precisely the fear, of separation can be overwhelming.

Helping Your Child Cope The question begs: how do you help your child cope?

How can I help my child deal with these issues? The answer is not so easy, but it’s not impossible, ether. The effects of separation are long-lasting and cannot be solved with one or two clear-the-air talks. A few things can be considered however. The relationship between the parents and the attitudes of the remaining parent toward the parent who left the family significantly influence the situation of the child. If you are sending a message about the evil betrayer your child will identify with it, because he or she loves you, but also loves the one you hate so vehemently. Regardless of what happened between you, the child is there with wishes, emotions and problems.

The Role of the Extended Family in Coping The role of the extended family can be of increased value in a situation like this. Grandparents or other relatives can be helpful in filling some holes in the life of the child as well as taking some weight off of the shoulder of the parent. The parent shall strive to maintain a (relatively) healthy self-esteem in the child by absolving him or her of the blame of the separation of the parents and affirming the unique qualities he or she has. The (relatively) healthy relationship with the parent who left the family is also crucial, the child should be neither idealize nor demonize the parent. Both approaches have its causes and uses, but they are ultimately just causing trouble. Finally and briefly, linked to this question we must also mention the dangers of double standards in parenting, which is a very real danger in such cases. It might be an easy way to gain favor with the child, but it is also a sure way for the parents to make things difficult for each other and at the same time confusing the kid as well.

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