Child’s Relationship with Other Parent after Separation 

Psychologists maintain that there is no such thing as problem children but children with problems. These children usually come from broken families or families where relationship among parents and children is not good. When husband and wife no longer get along well, divorce seem to be the solution.

A child’s parents are his source of support and inspiration – the persons who matter most in his very dependent stage of life. Logically, their separation would have devastating effect on the child. There is a great chance he will become frustrated, feel insecure and become rebellious. Very often, the child’s misbehavior is simply a manifestation of his dislike of the new environment due to the separation.

Divorce has been viewed by the husband and wife who could no longer get along with each other as the best remedy to heal a problematic relationship. What therefore should be done by the parents or the parent assigned the custody of the child in order to be able to solve the problem of the child’s relationship with other parent after separation?

Divorce creates a catastrophic change in a child’s life. The child is placed in an entirely new situation. His healthy relationship with the newcomers in his life is determined by how he would accept the new environment.

The other parent could be considered by the child as an intruder in the child’s life after separation. The degree of acceptance the child would give him depends to a great deal on the impression he makes on the child. The first approach could be very vital and it would be very hard for the child to ignore later on the bad image he has made of the other parent during their first encounter.

The other parents should take into consideration first of all, the age factor. The child’s age has a great deal to do with his acceptance or intolerance of the new person in his life with such authority over him.

A toddler reacts differently from a preschooler or a teenager. Well, a newborn baby could easily adjust to a new environment while a teenager could hardly adjust to it. The reasons are very obvious. A newborn baby can only recognize love and care. It’s as simple as that. The baby has no biases and has very simple needs which can be met easily. On the other hand, a teen-ager already knows so many things and has developed some relationships which are hard for him to part with. He has so many needs and has also developed certain standards and biases.

It is easier to talk to a child with a positive attitude. That is why the mother should first of all set the proper motivation to the child. She must make the child understand that there is a big problem in the family and that he should understand that things would only get worse if the change is not accepted by him. He should also realize that you and the other parent want only the best for him. He must develop an attitude that welcomes the change as an opportunity to correct some mistakes committed in the past and be convinced of this.

If it is obvious that the child can not tolerate the new family set up or can not adjust to it, it is advisable that the mother should consult other members of the family and close friends. If possible, she should also talk to her child’s friends and solicit their suggestions. The child is always at home with his friends and he is always willing to listen to them. The mother may discover so many things that would her help her solve the problem.

Usually, even before the breakup takes place, the child has suspicions of a relationship problem between his father and mother. This is easily noticed by grown-up children. There is a great possibility that he has already talked about it with his friends. So, if the problem about acceptance of the other parent arises, the child’s friends may have already made some analysis of the problem and may have come up with a suggested solution.

The new situation that the child is forced to accept would really give stress and anxiety to him. He would easily be depressed. Friends are his refuge and consolation. He is lucky if he has good friends. Otherwise, he would cause more problems – for him and his parents. It is therefore an obligation of husband and wife up to carefully monitor their children’s activities and whereabouts after the break up.

Grandparents should also be consulted whenever problems like this occur. This could even be the best and most effective option to remedy the problem especially if the child is close to grandma or grandpa.

Professional help is of course one of the best ways to handle this unfortunate situation. If the child goes to school, the help of his teachers or the guidance counselor could be solicited. The minister, priest or psychiatrist is also a very reliable person to ask for advice. However, there is a need to convince the child to go to these people because he might not like to.

Ironically, a relationship wherein divorce is the regarded as the best remedy creates another relationship problem – the problem of relationship with the other parent. This time however, the problem is of a somewhat different nature.

The infant, toddler, preschooler or teenager who is thrown into a new relationship is expected to be able to adjust to the new environment. Often this does not happen. The parent then feels the pangs of a broken relationship which perhaps has resolved own problem but has detrimental effect on the child.