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Fostering Children's Emotional Well-being During Parental Divorce



Children raised amidst their parents' arguments often undergo distinct developmental paths as they grow. One of these paths leads to children who particularly uphold fairness and justice. They might pursue careers such as law enforcement, or they might be passionate with physical training to protect their fathers or mothers. In these cases, a systemic constellation facilitator must guide the child in disengaging from the parental relationship, to respect their parents' way of coexistence, and return to their position as a child, loving their parents in a mature manner.


On the other hand, some children may grow up displaying remarkable compliance, feeling timid in social situations and hesitating to voice their opinions or decline requests from adults. As a systemic constellation facilitator, how can we effectively guide these children?


The first way is to express love separately to father and mother. For example, saying, "I love mom, but I also love dad." The second way is to help children build a connection with their mom, allowing them to lie in their mother's embrace and feel the warmth and security of being held by their mom. The third way is to help them break free from the ropes that bind them, as if they are breaking free from the fears and trauma of their childhood, and rush into the arms of their parents, finding harmony and warmth there. This helps them establish a new experience and memory, reducing the traumatic impact of old childhood memories.


We need to understand that the parents' divorce will definitely have an impact on children. However, if parents can part amicably, it can significantly reduce the harm and influence on the children. How can this be done? When parents have a strained relationship, they often complain, hold grudges or blame each other in front of their children, which causes inner conflict in the child. They are only allowed to love one parent, but in reality, in the child's subconscious, they love both parents unconditionally. Therefore, divorced parents should say to their children, "Your father (mother) and I once loved each other, which is why you were born. You are the fruit of our love. I would be very happy if you could love your father (mother) well," “Your father (mother) and I have encountered our own adult problems that led to our separation. This is our issue, not yours. You will always be our child.”


When the child has to live with one of the parents after the divorce, it's safest for them to be with the parent who respects the other parent. The parent who lives with the child should frequently praise the child for their attributes that resemble the other parent. For example, "You have the same beautiful smile as your father (mother)", "You are very loyal to your friends, just like your father (mother)", "You are just as kind as your father (mother)". This way, despite the fact that the parents are no longer together, neither is missing from the child's life or development. The child can still experience a normal and healthy upbringing.


Extracted from “Systemic, Family Constellation: Core Principles and Training Practices, Family Systemic Constellations” by Chou Ting Wen

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