One of the scariest fallouts of divorce is parental alienation for the child. In most cases, the custody of the child is passed on to the mother. In such cases, the child is very likely to be separated from the father. The child can develop a sense of alienation towards his father. The reverse is also true. Sometimes the feeling develops to such an extent that the child may refuse to meet the father or mother at all. This is the tragic fallout of a toxic divorce.
Why It Happens
Parental alienation is common to children of divorced partners. Divorce alters the family structure dramatically. Children don’t have any say or control over such changes. They love both their parents and want to stay with both of them. Although many parents understand this, there are some that don’t. These are the people who stoke parental alienation in their children.
In their zeal to win over the confidence of their children, some parents take stern measures. They take recourse to measures like keeping the child away from its father/mother or speaking badly about the former partner in the presence of their children. Such measures can strike a sense of hatred among children about their father or mother. If one partner continues to engage in such activities, the child may develop a deep sense of alienation towards his separated father or mother. Parents should not use their children to fulfil an urge for vengeance on their former partners.
The need of the hour is to protect children from parental alienation irrespective of the toxicity between the parents. However, protecting children from such abuse is easier said than done.
How to Protect Children from Parental Alienation?
Ways to help a child from parental alienation depends on the age of the child to a large extent. If the child has come out of its infancy and is able to learn and retain things, one needs to maintain the following:
Don’t ever speak badly of former partner, especially in front of the child.
Don’t ever try to go one up above the other partner, especially with gifts or punishments.
One needs to love the child unconditionally. Children love their parents unconditionally and parents need to reciprocate that in order to be in their reckoning.
If the person blames his/her children for something or the other, he or she may develop a sense of alienation.
Reminisce the fun times with the child. If possible, get together with a former partner and spend some happy moments.
One needs to be on time for routine visits with former partners. Children look forward to such visits. Dithering with such visits with children may develop a sense of parental alienation.
Parental alienation is one of the most difficult situations for children to deal with. They go through a mix of emotions, which is why both parents should understand the impact of divorce or separation on their children. It can even spoil the personality of the child. One should always comfort his/her child and avoid situations where a child needs to choose one of the parents.
Child care is often one of the crucial aspects that have to be given due consideration during the growth of a child. Children now are susceptible to a variety of impairments, and even though there are medications and treatments to take care of their needs, they would still require a personal touch. This is where pediatric physiotherapists come in. Their primary job is to work with people of different ages from premature babies to young adolescents to ensure that they interact optimally and address their development stages. Like any physiotherapist, they are also concerned with the movements of the child, their postures and their coordination with the outside world. Let us have a look at their profession in depth.
Role of Pediatric physiotherapists
The major role of the pediatric physiotherapist would be to assess the child and make a detailed physiotherapy plan according to his/her needs. They are also required to work in close collaboration with parents, teachers, doctors and other health care professionals. Based on the length and the gravity of the treatment, it can either be done at home or at the designated health care centers. Some of the conditions they address can include:
They also give across treatments in older children for:
Their major focus would be in imparting guidance for the movement that the child might be hampered with. Since children would not be having the necessary control to fight a disease, they can also focus on strength training in a child. They can also slowly groom up your child to let them feel at ease with the physical world. Most of the exercises and session would focus on one critical issue their confidence level. Pediatric physiotherapists would always concentrate on this aspect, apart from the training. They always encourage the children to take part in a wide variety of activities and will also groom them to be independent. Also in older children when they have the capacity to understand, the pediatric physiotherapist should always inform the child about his/her physical nature and that there is nothing wrong with him. The more open they are to the child, the more the child would reciprocate.
There are also many medications and physical treatment plans that can be given when the child is undergoing the therapy. These can include wheelchair assist, walkers or canes. Most of the children who are affected by the conditions may also have a poor development of their vision. The pediatric physiotherapist should liaise with the ophthalmologist to take care of their needs as a sense of right vision can sometimes go a long way in how the child responds to a treatment. They also have an added commitment of making the child respond to a treatment in which he/she is comfortable in. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Physiotherapist.
Parenting is a lifetime job be it for a normal child or a child with special needs. Parents are teachers, guides, leaders, protectors and providers for their children. Parenting is a process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Every child is a gift and a blessing to their parents. On the other hand, parenting itself is one of the toughest jobs and that too for a child with special needs, it is both a blessing and challenge.
It is a very unique experience to live with a disabled child as it has a major impact on the family, siblings and extended family members. However, discovering a problem should be the initial step to start with parenting such children. Discovering a child's special needs is often a confusing and painful process for parents as sometimes learning difficulties can be multiple and difficult to pinpoint and it can be hard for parents to know whether things are normal or not.
There are various categories of disabilities that your child might fall under. For example: Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Other Health Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional disturbance, Speech or language impairment, Visual impairment, including blindness, Deafness, Deaf-blindness, Orthopedic impairment, Intellectual disability, Traumatic brain injury, Multiple disabilities.
Some common indications for the development of learning disabilities which can be taken into consideration
But the above mentioned signs are not enough to determine that a person has a learning disability. A professional assessment is also necessary to diagnose a learning disability because every disability has its own signs and unless they persist over time cannot be considered as a 'disability'. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
It is obvious for your little ones to feel anxious and uncomfortable when they have to bid a temporary farewell to you. Though you may be at your wits’ end in dealing with the tantrums, tears and clinginess of your kids, this is a normal stage in the child’s mental growth. With the help of coping strategies, you can help your child come out of the disorder quite easily.
Helping kids deal with separation anxiety:
You can easily aid your kids overcome the separation anxiety by making them feel comfortable and safer. You should try to create a sympathetic ambience at home to make your child feel at ease and talk to the school authorities if they can be a bit compassionate about the child.
Learn the reasons behind the anxiety: When you are aware of what makes your child feel anxious when he or she is separated from you, you will be able to offer better solutions and empathise with your child’s struggles.
Listen to what your child says: As a responsive parent, you must listen to what your child is feeling and have respect towards it. If a child is feeling isolated, he or she can be healed back to a normal state when they are listened to with proper care and sympathy.
Discuss about the issue: A child feels much relieved when he or she knows that there is someone to talk about his or her anxiety and fears. You should refrain from telling kids to stop thinking about it, and instead, tenderly remind the child how bravely he or she survived the last separation without any harm.
Anticipate the difficulty faced by your child: You should be prepared for transition moments in which your child may feel immensely anxious, such as going to school or meeting friends for playing. In case your child feels more comfortable separating from the other parent than you, it is wise to let the other parent handle the separation moment.
Offer a consistent schedule throughout the day: You must never underestimate the significance of predictability for your child with separation anxiety issues. When you offer them a consistent schedule pattern for a day, they can easily cope with the anxiety with the passage of time. In case there are going to be any alterations in the schedule, you must speak with your kids about it ahead of time.
With these small steps, you can help your small child deal with separation anxiety. But in case you feel that the situation is out of control, and you are unable to control your kids, it is probably time to seek professional help.