The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) presented during its 69th Congress a manual addressed to all families in the process of separation or divorce to prevent the appearance of emotional consequences in the children.
In the year 2021 there were more than 86,000 divorces in Spain, 12.5% more than the previous year. It is considered that the risk of suffering a psychological pathology is doubled in the children of separated parents. #69CongresoAEP
— AEP (@aepediatria) June 3, 2023
“Separation and divorce, and previous conflicts, are a source of emotional stress which can lead to significant dysregulation in family members. If it is approached in a friendly way, it will be easier for there to be a good adjustment to the new family situation,” explained Dr. Lefa S. Eddy, pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist, and secretary of the AEP Child Psychiatry Society.
According to him Statistics National Institutein the year In 2021 there were more than 86,000 divorces, 12.5% more than the previous year. Shared custody was granted in 43% of the cases of divorce and separation of couples with children.
For this reason, pediatricians highlight the need to do “a good accompaniment to families” so that the separation is as friendly or less harmful as possible for all family members, but especially for the children, since “they can suffer the emotional consequences for years.”
According to experts, the repercussions that divorce will have on the lives of children may be psycho-emotional, academic, social and economic. In addition, it is considered that there double risk of suffering psychopathology in children whose parents have separated.
As for the couple, the separation creates feelings such as anxiety, stress, emotional lability or loss of self-esteem and the emotional state of the parents will also affect that of the children.
feelings of frustration
Pediatricians pointed out that psycho-emotional conflicts in minors usually occur “in the wake of feelings of abandonment” by not understanding what is happening and why one of the parents is leaving the home.
As stated in the document, there will be feelings of frustration and helplessness from all the routine changes that occur in the daily life of minors, such as having to spend the weekend in another neighborhood away from their friends.
According to pediatricians, there will also be feelings of guilt if they have not been clearly explained the reason for the separation or feelings of rejection towards parents because they spend less time with them.
Besides, children tend to deny realityThey fantasize about their parents getting back together, have adjustment problems, and fear losing their non-custodial parent forever.
Pediatricians advocated for a friendly separation to ensure that the emotional suffering caused by the separation is “as little as possible” for the family.
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