As I reflect on the past year, it strikes me that one of our country’s greatest struggles is to provide the children of this world with positive role models. Parents are the first and arguably the most important role models any child can have. Whether it is a mother and father, two mothers, or two fathers; it is imperative to provide every child with the greatest opportunity to view and experience strength, wisdom, and compassion.
The Pain of Separation
Studies have shown that when parents are affectionate and supportive, it greatly affects a child’s cognitive and social development. It also instills an overall sense of well-being and self confidence. Too often a child is separated from one or both of his or her parents. Illness, accident, or apathy prevents far too many children from enjoying the diversity and the breadth of knowledge that two parents can provide. One parent or grandparents may do a marvelously heroic job caring for a child, but parents are truly a blessing to a child’s development.
Anger’s Effect on Children
When parents decide that they are no longer compatible partners in life, the inevitable result is that the children will be marginalized. It is not intended, or desired, but it is a fact. Very seldom is there an amicable dissolution of a marriage. There is anger, frustration, and remorse that festers in the bowels of almost all divorce action. These emotions tend to be highlighted during the negotiation and litigation of child custody and visitation. Not only will these efforts limit one of the parent’s ability to contribute to his/her child’s growth, but it will also impact the perception that the child will have of each parent, permanently damaging their strongest role models.
Each parent should fight for their children. They should fight with their last breath to insure that their child is provided the greatest opportunity to have complete and effective role models. We all want our child to say to themselves, “I hope to find someone that is strong, smart, and loving; like my mother/father.” This is why when you are going through a divorce that involves child custody and visitation, you must set aside the anger. You must set aside the frustration. You must set aside the remorse. You must be a better person for your children and demonstrate for them strength, wisdom, and compassion.