Child Custody - Reducing The Trauma
While any divorce can be difficult and painful, it is especially hard when there are children and child custody is an issue. Trying to work out a fair and equitable custody arrangement can be an awful experience for both parents and children. When faced with this problem, it is important to maintain a sense of stability and belonging for the child. If the parents are not careful, their child custody arrangement (battle) may cause major trauma to their affected child or children.
Here are some suggested ways to help avoid potential problems for the children who are soon to be relocated from home to home.
It can be very unsettling for a child, especially a younger one, to feel secure when having two homes. This insecurity is especially evident should the parents live far apart. Moving from one end of town to the other every weekend is difficult enough, never mind having to move from one state to another for months at a time. This can be devastating to the child's sense of belonging. This lack of stability would wear on an adult, and may negatively affect a small child's overall view of life.
In any child custody case, stability is of great importance. To help maintain some semblance of stability, it is a good idea for each parent to have an item of importance to the child. For example, if your child loves reading and places great value on a particular series of children's books, each parent should make sure that they have made the comfort provided by these books available to the child in each of their homes. This may not seem like much, but to the child it provides a safe comfortable feeling. The same thing goes for duplicate toys and games that would be too impractical for the child to travel with. It's very important to minimize the differences, and to encourage a sense of stability during child custody changes.
One of the more difficult aspects of child custody is a consistent standard of discipline. In particular, the parent with the least amount of time spent with the child may find a reluctance to discipline them at all. They may spend too much time trying to be "the fun parent;" the one who allows the child to eat what they want, and for the most part, do what they want. This is a very common problem with joint custody, and may even turn into a sort of "popularity competition" between the parents. This really serves no useful purpose and may end up confusing the child. Consistent standards of discipline are very important!
No matter how they feel about each other, divorced parents with joint custody rights must agree on some basic ground rules. If they have a problem agreeing on even the most basic of ground rules, this agreement may have to be accomplished through their lawyers. It is what's best for the children and that should be the primary concern of the divorced parents.
Another common problem with a hostile divorce is the potential for each parent to "badmouth" the other. This practice can be especially distressing for the children. Younger children in particular, tend to idolize their parents and this "badmouthing" can be devastating by again putting a child between the parents in a verbally competitive situation.
Whether they like it or not, both parents can and must, not let their personal feelings for each other negatively affect the children. Child custody battles will never be a positive experience, but should be handled with as little trauma for the child as possible.
Copyright ©2007 Carl DiNello
Carl DiNello is an Article Author, Researcher, and Website Owner whose articles are featured on websites covering the Internet's most popular topics.
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