Divorce is painful and extremely stressful for all – Mom, Dad, and the children. How parents handle their divorce, and the challenges of being a single parent, will go a long way in predicting how their children will cope with the disruption and restructuring of their family unit.
Divorced Parents' Vulnerable State Can Cause Manipulation by Children
After a divorce, some parents take on a sense of guilt or feelings of inadequacy, regardless of whether they were the one seeking divorce. These parents find it difficult to parent their children and provide effective boundaries and discipline.
Edward Tyber, in his book Helping Children Cope with Divorce (Lexington Books, 1992) states, “These parents do not discipline effectively because they are afraid of their children’s rejection if they take a firm stand and say no. Because the parent’s need for acceptance is heightened, they stop enforcing limits as soon as their children become angry or critical.”
Children of divorce are keenly aware of their parents’ vulnerable emotional state. After divorce, when they find their parents’ defenses down, they may use that to their advantage. Thus, it is fairly common for children to learn to manipulate their parents after divorce, often pitting one parent against the other.
Children of divorce see manipulation as a viable avenue to get their way. Some divorced parents have the mistaken belief that their “little angel” would never do such a thing. However, failing to see the manipulation for what it is will only make matters worse.
It is understandable why parents would turn a blind eye to such tactics. After all, they do not want their children to be further traumatized by what has taken place during the divorce process. They want to see their children happy and thriving in their new environment. Sadly, fear of how their divorce is going to negatively impact their children causes many parents to give children too much leeway.
AUTHOR- Renee Marietta
Copyright Renée Marietta.
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