When their relationships go sour, many married couples with children ponder whether it is better to divorce or stay together for their offspring. While the latter might sound like the best solution, raising a child in a conflicted and unhappy environment can be just as damaging as divorce or even worse. The implications are numerous and vary widely according to situation, so think twice before making a decision!
Be objective and think beyond the now and here
Both situations present negative consequence on children. It’s true that children raised by a single parent risk being subjected to more unfavorable situations than others. From getting bullied at school over the fact that they “have no dad or mom” to their sometimes difficult evolution into adulthood being influenced by the absence of a male or female figure, divorce can make or break a person! However, the most important aspect is the type of repercussions the impact of a divorce or an unbalanced environment presents in the long run!
A peaceful environment does wonders
Specific circumstances entail particular responses. For instance, there are situations in which a divorced couple focuses on the proper behavior towards the child and avoid bringing their personal issues in the manner in which the child is raised.
Even if it is difficult to raise a child on your own, maintaining a tactful relation with your ex and allowing the child to interact with his other parent and develop a natural relationship with him will allow a more balanced evolution. The child might not understand at first the reason for which his parents do not live together anymore, but that is not an excuse for implicating him in the personal problems between the two of you.
Your son or daughter is neither your friend/parent, to whom you can complain about relationship problems, nor is he your psychotherapist!
Neither is a child the reason for which a relationship has stopped functioning! In consequence, he should not be burdened with these aspects and should be left to develop a loving relationship with both parents! There are grave psychological consequences, one of which is normal personality development, involved in the manner in which parents interact not only with the child, but also with each other. That is the main reason why the manner in which you treat your partner matters so much.
During their upbringing, it is easily noticeable that children have a tendency to emulate behaviors and thinking processes observed in their parents. Your words and actions weigh heavily not only on the person you interact with but also on your child, who isn’t mature enough to differentiate between favorable or unfavorable concepts they should appropriate. In addition, this is a sensitive period in which precedents are easily formed for a developing individual and these precedents can form unwanted involuntary behavioral patterns and beliefs. When a person reaches adulthood it is considerably more difficult to correct erroneous thinking processes or to manage exaggerated reactions, so why not avoid developing them altogether? Your violent response towards your spouse can be your child’s future violent reaction to a mistakenly similar interaction, at the very least.
If you constantly fight with your partner and can’t seem to be able to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship, instead of subjecting or involving your child into your quarrels, opt for separation and try your best for your little one without pulling each other’s hair daily!
Divorce is no excuse for bad parenting
For some, divorce is the easy way out. Certainly, the fights and uncivilized behavior displayed in front of your child will be put to an end, but a quiet home does not guarantee a stress-free upbringing for your child.
Separation is hard for everyone and there are necessary steps that must be taken to ease the transition for a young individual. As long as you channel your efforts into providing a strong and loving relationship for your child, the impact of not having one of his parents constantly around the house will lessen.
Just because you don’t want to live or interact with your partner any longer that does not mean that your child should do so too.
On the contrary, he should be allowed to see and build a steadfast bond with the absent parent as well as receive explanations and reassurances that his parents’ separation does not imply his own separation from them. Do not, for any reason, believe that your responsibilities for your child end once you have no responsibility left for your previous partner. And, I am not talking about sending money or presents every now and again, because nothing can replace a warm, loving bond or a steadfast education. Your presence, love and guidance are necessary for your child’s upbringing and living apart should not be an excuse.
Some couples are happy but live apart because of work, some live together although they wish they didn’t and others get divorced yet maintain a balanced relationship for their children’s sake. There are hardships and limitations in all of them, but what you choose “to show” your child in spite of the unfavorable circumstances is the key to a healthy upbringing.