Staying Together For the Kids: Pros and Cons

31.05.2019

Does Staying Together For the Kids Work?

To answer the question, “Does staying together for the kids work?” we must first analyze a marital conflict from the perspective of a child.

together for children

A model of life, communication, attitude towards the world are the main things that a family gives to a child. The family meets the most important psychological needs of a child in safety, in communication, in love. As it is known, in a full family, traditionally, the mother performs the function of the emotional supporter of the family, creates a warm family atmosphere, cares for her relatives, listens to them, understands, while the father largely represents the function of regulatory control, guides others, and regulates their behavior. A complete family is able to deal with the difficulties of everyday life. A child in such a family knows that they are not alone, that their father and mother always stand behind them, they learn to overcome critical situations by the example of decisions made by the whole family. However, this is just a model of behavior, the holy grail of family relationships, life is quite different.

In an effort to save a relationship for the sake of a child, spouses, as a rule, are guided by the interests of that child. That is, they believe that it is better for a child to live in a complete family, even it two spouses don’t see eye to eye. However, by deciding what is best for a child, parents leave their own goals and ambitions behind. In addition, our conscious desire can go against unconscious motives. So, the fear that a child’s life will certainly change for the worse after the parent’s divorce can only be a rationalization of the inner parental complexes, namely, the fear of being left behind and alone. At the same time, parents can also project their own feelings onto their child since the fear of being abandoned sometimes comes from their own childhood.

Of course, there are some situations in which not all hope is lost. For example, the cooling of feelings and alienation between spouses are not yet present in a relationship, and all the disagreements are due to some kind of crisis in relations — some dramatic change in life or infidelity of one of the spouses. In this case, if there is a mutual desire, a relationship can be saved. In this case, the spouses will do their best to keep it between themselves.

Generally speaking, a child will never be good in a family where the parents are in a state of enmity between themselves, even if it is just a cold war. Even if you do decide to stay together for the kids, you may still be at each other’s throats. Children of any age are very sensitive to such mutual hatred. And if teenagers usually react in more proactive ways – by showing aggressiveness towards parents or peers, committing offenses or running away from home, then little ones start to get sick, reacting neurotically.

Insomnia, stuttering, enuresis, childhood fears, obsessive actions, allergies, dermatosis, gastritis in a child form a small list of symptoms of family distress. Sometimes, when a child becomes ill, the kid unconsciously pursues one single goal, they want to attract the attention of parents, distract them from quarrels and reconcile their parents. Small children can quickly "switch" when they change the setting. stay together for the kidsSo, they can be cheerful and active on the street, in kindergarten, when visiting friends and relatives, but this is not a reason to assume that a child is not disturbed by anything. On the contrary, by doing their best to avoid unpleasant experiences, a child turns their energy against their own health.

In addition, the subjective experiences of a child whose parents constantly quarrel among themselves are very difficult. The younger the child is, the less they understand the relationships of people, the more inclined they are to take the blame for everything that happens on themselves. They think, "If mom and dad argue with each other, then they do it because of me, then I'm bad." A kid feels like the center of discord. The consequences of such thoughts are feelings of guilt, sadness, fear, rage, and anger. All these feelings and thoughts lead to a decrease in emotional wellbeing, difficulties in communication, experiencing loneliness and rejection, negative self-perception, low self-esteem. Such children constitute a special problem group that needs the attention of parents, psychologists, and special teaching personnel.

Indifference is equally destructive as well. Spouses may not even argue about anything, they agree to live together for the sake of the children, but each of them is going to live their own separate life. When it comes to the actual relationships – this solution seems to be perfect, but it is indifference that creates a sense of absolute emptiness in a child - when nobody needs anyone, including a child themselves. A family environment in which people are not used to openly expressing their feelings cripples a child’s psyche. Being used to suppressing their emotions, a child, even in adulthood, becomes unable to communicate with other people.

Firstly, they do not understand what the people around them want since they did not have the opportunity to observe manifestations of feelings in their parents, and secondly, they are unable to express their own feelings because for them it is associated with the threat of rejection. In general, the habit of hiding your feelings can turn back in adolescence as a reaction of protest against parents, with all the ensuing consequences – a child may even decide to abandon their home altogether. So, to decide whether or not you should stay together for the children, let’s list all of the pros and cons of such a decision.

Staying Together For the Kids: Pros and Cons

Cons

The marital alliance itself is not that important

Divorce will not go unnoticed for both children and parents. But divorce does not destroy the world of a child. Yes, they are going to wonder why mom and dad have stopped living together and loving each other, or maybe one of the parents has disappeared from their world altogether.

However, for a child, it is more important to know that they have a mom and a dad, that they both love them and take part in their upbringing. This is where you need to realize that the stamp in your passport is just a formality. Living together after divorce for children is not necessary, you may start your own separate lives.

A child will quickly adjust to the new life, they will get used to the fact that their father has his own house, and their mother has her own one. Moreover, in most families, a mother watches after children, and a father spends all of his time at work, earning a living for his family. In such families, children see their dads only on weekends, so due to a divorce, little will change, especially if you agree among themselves about adequate custody of your child. The main thing is to explain to a child that no one is to blame for the divorce and to support them in every possible way.

Unhappy parents = unhappy child

The ability to enjoy life, smile, and be happy is true art. Not everyone can see the good things in anything. The atmosphere of love, mutual respect, joy teaches a child to be happy and create an atmosphere of happiness around them. If parents are constantly depressed, angry, they are unable to smile - a child will think that this is quite a normal model of behavior and will follow it.

But this does not mean at all that it is necessary to divorce at the sight of slightest difficulties and isolated cases of bad mood of your partner, all the more so, everyone has their bad and difficult days. You need to go your separate ways only when each of you tried everything you could to save a relationship, but nothing came out of it.

Children will not appreciate your divorce for their sake

By sacrificing your happiness and freedom as well as keeping your relationship together for children, you automatically shift the responsibility for your failed life onto your offspring. Moreover, sooner or later the thought, “I've sacrificed everything for you,” will prevail over you. How do you think a child will feel after something like that? The oppression of guilt. Their weak mind is simply not able to withstand this, therefore, do not sacrifice your life for the sake of your child. Staying together for the kids should be a selfless act, don’t ask for anything, they had no part in it.

does staying together for the kids workPros

Conflicts can be hidden

According to various researches, children are better at tolerating scandals that are hidden, the cold wars, if you will. Because in the case of regular quarrels, children see everything there is to see, they feel everything there is to feel, while hidden conflicts are something completely incomprehensible to the naive mind of a child. All of the little signs of mutual dissatisfaction may go completely unnoticed by a child, they are not yet aware of all the signs, gestures, and different aspects of human interactions.

Second Chances

You must be able to realize that not all conflicts signify the end of a relationship, some of them may be quite insignificant and quite easy to handle when you really think about them. Don’t panic or surrender to your own feelings. Virtually any problem in a relationship can be overcome, but, this doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. You have to battle for your happiness, only lots of work and effort will help you defeat that cancer that poisons your relationship, do nothing is to let it grow. Everything is possible, staying together for the kids after infidelity may seem impossible, but it isn’t.

So, should we stay together for the kids? Every case is different, the hardest decision is the one that you have to do yourself.

How to Stay Together For the Kids?

As we’ve just said, not all of the conflict situations should be seen as the end of a relationship. You must understand that you are a completely different person to your partner, you will never be the same and because of that, you may not see eye to eye at all times.

That being said, if we are to summarize the strategy of battling this cancer in a family, then you have to find the cause of a problem, identify the ways of removing it, and then do your best to fix that problem. Staying together for the children may be quite difficult, but there is always a way to do it.

In this day and age, there are countless ways of doing so, there are family psychologists, tons of literature, articles, videos, movies, even music, there is an entire world of content that is focused on “repairmen of relationships.”

So, how to stay together for the kids? Identify your problem, have an honest discussion, and do your best to fix that problem, make compromises.

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