Redefining parental roles after divorce
Marriages are considered to be a happy and blessed occasion for both partners and families. It is more than a legal ceremony that unites two families with the bond of love, trust and affection. Regrettably, some marriages are neither successful nor lasting, ending up in either separation or divorce.
Divorce is a legal dissolution of marriage due to maladjustment or dysfunctions between the partners. Unfortunately, the rates and pattern of divorce have drastically increased in the last few years. According to Dawn (2002) as citied in Ghor (2009, pg. 25) “a judge of the court, Mian Mohammed Akram Awan show the concern regarding the rate of divorce in Islamabad i.e. 200 divorce in a year of 2001, was the highest in the country.”
It is seen as a devastating phenomenon that not only disturbs the life of two partners but their offspring as well. Children of divorced parents are vulnerable members of family who are highly affected by this traumatic event. Proper parenting following divorce can reduce the aftermath of divorce. Therefore, the focus of this paper is to examine the children adjustments and role of parenting following divorce as well as their implication on the children wellbeing.
A growing body of knowledge and research has been evident regarding the concern of parenting and children adjustments following divorce. Effective Parent-child relationship can reduces the consequences of divorce. If mothers and fathers perform their parental roles competently and cooperate in raising their children, some of the negative effects of divorce can be avoided (Amato, Kane, and James, 2011). The themes resulted from the recent studies are as following:
CHILDREN INTERNALIZING AND EXTERNALIZING ADJUSTMENTS:
The children of divorced parents may experience various adjustments in their lifetime and to discuss each and every kind of adjustment is the beyond the scope of this paper. When the child experiences altered affection by his/her parents, it greatly impacts on his/her mental health often results in internalizing and externalizing problems. Due to these problems most children are unable to concentrate in their academic life that results in low grades and many children get involved in unethical activities including substance abuse or criminal activities to satisfy their stress.
Moreover, many children disobey their parents and may violate the social norms or practices to justify their behavior. It is one of biggest challenges that divorced parents are facing today therefore proper parenting is the one of the cure to this problem.
MATERNAL AND PATERNAL PARENTING:
Post-divorce, children usually live with custodial parent i.e. mostly times mothers, and non- custodial parent mostly father may visit their children with the restrictive pattern. This division of love and affection may greatly influence the child’s cognitive and emotional well being. Children need a great amount of attention from both parents at different levels of time and development therefore, maternal and paternal parenting is very essential to be delivered in a most appropriate way so that the needs and demands can be fulfilled. The commitment of quality time and active participation in routine activities by both parents helps to transform the direct benefits to their children.
CO-PARENTING OR SHARED PARENTING PLAN:
An effective parenting plan should be developed with the consensus of both parents so that the suffering of a child can be minimized at the highest level. Effective parenting plan should include a proper visitation schedule of non-custodial father, effective communication, division of quality time, distribution of overall child responsibilities, and interaction with children. The implementation of this plan not only shares the responsibility of parents but the child also experiences adequate attention in the family without recognizing the aftermath of divorce.
Parental divorce greatly influences a child’s well-being. It not only disturbs the parent-child relationship but also negatively influences the inner and outer world of the children.
About the author: Shahzad Kanji is working as Assistant Head nurse at PW2 dept. at AKUH, Karachi, Pakistan. His professional responsibilities include patient care and monitoring administrative issues. He did his Post RN BscN Program from Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan.