Tuesday, 30 August 2011

‘Tough love’ vital for children of divorcing parents

Think tank ‘Demos’ has published research on the UK’s drinking habits, The Telegraph reported over the weekend, showing strong links between a child’s upbringing and his or her future relationship with alcohol.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, according to Demos children whose parents divorce are “more likely to have ‘problematic drinking behaviours’”, due either to the stress of the divorce process or impact it has on the parent/child relationship.

The research reveals that children are affected most, not by divorce itself, but by a parent becoming ‘disengaged’ from their child as a result.  Divorcing parents must remain emotionally engaged with their child, regularly demonstrating warmth and affection particularly when a child is under five, to reduce the chances of their pre-schooler drinking to excess by the time they reach 16.

However children also need discipline particularly during the emotional upheaval caused by separation, and parents must ‘set and enforce clear boundaries’.  If parents can work together and set aside their own issues, their children are far less likely to develop such social issues in their teens.

It is vital to obtain divorce advice from a specialist family law solicitor if you are concerned about co-parenting following separation. 

For more advice on divorce read our family law blog, follow us on Twitter or call Pannone on 0800 840 4929.

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