CONFLICT IN DIVORCE HURTS CHILDREN



Children are negatively affected by divorce. This is a well-known fact, however research shows that what hurts children the most is the conflict that takes place between the parents and this can lead to long term problems such as school performance and life choices.


According to experts such as psychologist, Debra K Carter, in her book Co-parenting after Divorce, some of the most damaging parent behaviours include:

· Asking children to take messages of a hostile nature from one parent to another

· Questioning the child about the other parents’ personal life, lifestyle or comings and goings

· Encouraging or asking children to hide information

· Creating an atmosphere where children are not able to openly express their feelings about the other parent, especially if those feelings are positive

· Speaking to the child contemptuously about the other parent

Carter asserts that children are hurt even when it appears that they are “doing okay”.


Despite the fact that your children may have a good relationship with you, they are still affected by hostility between you and your spouse or ex-spouse. The content of what is being argued is not of relevance but it is the level of hostility to which children are exposed. The longer the hostility continues, the higher the level of distress and the greater the long term effects on children. If you need help with your high conflict divorce, you can ask your attorneys to appoint a parenting coordinator and make it an order of the court. Call me to discuss your requirements at KS Mediation & Counselling on 0828255505 or email on karenspurrier@icon.co.za

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