The children suffer persistent feelings of insecurity and self-doubt as a result of absentee parents as discussed by R. Chris Fraley and Marie E. Heffernan’s of the University of Illinois 2013 study, Attachment and Parental Divorce: A Test of the Diffusion and Sensitive Period Hypotheses. And what disheartens me the most is that on the front lines, it seems the children most at risk are the ones whose parents are the least likely to take time to talk about the child‘s feelings,academics, problem-behavior or insecurities.
In fact, these are the same parents I see using their child as a pawn while waging war against the other parent.
If the child turns to alcohol and drug use — or his or her academics falter, as is prone to happen — many parents berate and scold the child without taking into account their own culpability for their child’s behavior.
The number of parents I have seen use their child as subterfuge against their former spouse would shock even the least romantic of us. Beyond the most obvious cases, there are hidden scars that surface when parents often don’t even realize how horrible they are being, and many parents subconsciously make their child feel guilty for spending time with the other parent.