If father and mother separate, are often children between the parental fronts. That this may in the longer term negative impact on the mental health of children, points out the Swiss Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Risk of parent-child relationship

Children separation loyalty

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Loyalty conflicts with the parents provide for children the most common stressor in connection with the separation of their parents. In the conflict of loyalties is a child from his parents fronts, because loyalty to one parent brings disloyalty to the other parent with them.

This dilemma threatens the parent-child relationship and is considered decisive for the short- and medium-term adjustment of the child after the divorce. "Loyalty conflicts in children when their own Love feeling or the connection will not be carried to one parent by the other parent and accepted. If children do not have the freedom to love and the target parent, they run into a dilemma under which they suffer in any case"Reports Dr. phil. Liselotte Staub on behalf of the Swiss Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (SGKJPP), headquartered in Bern.

"They form an alliance to only one parent and estranged from the other, is completely lost under certain circumstances, an important caregiver childhood. This may, among other restrictions in the bond, relationship and performance of the child result. In cases where the child is not willing to sacrifice the relationship with a parent, it remains trapped in the conflict of loyalties. Thus, the relationship with both parents remain in place but the intolerability of the situation to other areas of mental health system affect. These children may be, for example behavioral problems or aggressive, develop depressive Versstimmungen and insomnia and lack of concentration." Parents should pay attention in case of separation absolutely sure whether your children might expose a conflict of loyalty and counteract that.

Younger children not yet ambivalenzfähig

The conflict of loyalty is greater, the less ambivalenzfähig children. Under the Ambivalenzfähigkeit the assets of a person is called to be able to allow an object or a person compared to the same positive and negative feelings. The Ambivalenzfähigkeit depends to a large extent with the spiritual development and maturity of a child. "Until the age of six children are barely able to perceive the perspective of the other person, let alone to consider the relationships between several dimensions. Younger children can hardly succeed, therefore, to keep the same mother and father loyalty. They react in a situation where the mother or father swipes against the other judge, overwhelmed", Warns psychologist and psychotherapist FSP.

"The children then often unconsciously trying to avoid the emotional turmoil and react with the so-called visitation syndrome. They complain, for example about mood disorders, stomach or headaches when switching from one parent to another is pending. The parents interpret this behavior often wrong and lead it back on it, that it's not good for the child while the other parent. The underlying there is a separation-related conflict of loyalty, is often overlooked." Especially in relation to the parents children are often long time not ambivalenzfähig, as they have so far experienced father and mother as a unit, with mutual support and same demands on the child.

Children are dependent on the help of both parents

The main thing at a separation or divorce of parents is that the children retain their caregivers and may act out their inner Connected to both parents. "These parents should explicitly allow their child to love the other parent and him to show his love and open. At the same time, they should give the young that it is perfectly fine if the child perceives the other parent towards different than the mother or the father himself"Explains the expert.

Well, well, if the parents have similar values ​​and place the same demands on the child. They support each other, it is not difficult for the child to be loyal to both parents and "party line" to behave. As long as the child can rest assured that overarching goals of the parents are identical and the parents tolerated again, children are to be able to endure tensions between the parents.

Source: contact resistances of the child after the parents' separation: cause, effect and handling of Liselotte Staub, Dr. phil., psychologist and psychotherapist FSP, Bern (ZKE 5/2010 S. 349? 364)

More information www.kinderpsychiater-im-netz.org