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How to handle a child when the parents are divorced?

Q: My friend has divorced her husband. She has a 6-year-old son and feels that she should not deny her son the pleasure of seeing his father. But the man tells his son that his mother is bad. The child is now confused. Should she stop sending her son to his father?

A:It is good to see that people are now gradually becoming more sensitive towards children. Children are what you make them. The child will believe what he sees and what he is told. If the child gets conflicting or contradicting messages, the child is bound to be confused. It is imperative that instead of trying to fix the child, the parents are made to realize that it is they who need help. It is important for them to see that in the battles of the adults the child is not made the victim. Whenever children are exposed to parental conflict, they end up getting hurt and confused. In order to prevent any further damage, it becomes absolutely essential that the child is kept out of the battlefield. Another thing that should be kept in mind is the fact that the child needs both parents for a healthy psychological growth. Therefore, as far as possible, the child should have access to both parents. It might be a good idea for the parents to sit down together, for the sake of the child, and chart out the way in which they would like to treat the child. One of the most damaging things for the child is hearing something negative about his parents. So if both parents are themselves doing this, it is not hard to imagine the consequences. Whatever the circumstances may be, one has to try and keep the environment as congenial for the child as possible. So ultimately I would like to suggest that, if possible, the parents should meet a counsellor in order to sort out things that would be the best for their child.

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