Children of Divorce: What family life means to children

First in our series “Children of Divorce” where we are exploring how to help children through their parents’ divorce.

Children of Divorce

It is universally understood that from birth, a child is dependent on his/her parents.  It used to be thought that this dependency was only towards the mother, but it has now been proved that the attachment can be as close between father and child as it can be between mother and child.

Whether the relationship is with a father or mother, a child needs a very close attachment to security.  Children achieve this attachment through bodily contact and the security of being held close.  As the child gets older, smell, hearing, and sight become methods of trust. Eye contact is something that becomes increasingly important in the bond between babies and parent.  Babies from 4-6 weeks old try to attract eye contact, smiling when they gain attention.  The smiling becomes more selective as they get older.  But they are looking for attention which builds the bond.

As babies grow into toddlers, the need for physical contact reduces, but there is still a need for security.  This again can be supplied by a mother or father.  In an ideal world, jointly provided by mother and father.  Conversation and play all help that bond.

The family bond is present throughout a persons life, though we seek additional attachment bonds as we get older.  The additional attachment bonds dontdilute those pre-existing bonds, just help with the security of that person. A sense of security gives confidence, so gives a person more confidence in life.

Trust is important

The trust, formed between child and parent at this early age, forms the base for their relationship forming skills throughout life.

In these days, families come in all shapes and sizes. Although the nuclear family is still the most prominent structure. Cultural and circumstantial differences can cause the family to range from just a single parent and child to a much wider close family including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  There is no family structure that is better than another.  The only thing a young child needs from the family is love, affection, security, and trust.

So when going through a divorce, children need security.  This can be provided by either parent or both parents.  This security requirement will depend upon their age.  A young child may just need a parental cuddle, whereas a teenager will be more concerned where they are going to live, and how it will affect their lives.

For further advice on how to help your children through divorce Contact Us on 0800 177 7702

Related Posts

Children of Divorce: Breaking the news to your children

Children of Divorce: Making children feel secure

Children of Divorce: Things to watch out for

Children of Divorce: Children’s changing needs


Children of Divorce: What family life means to children was last modified: November 1st, 2018 by Carol Sullivan

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