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Many adults believe that unless they are discovered, they do no harm to their family when they decide to be unfaithful to their partner. In addition, it is thought that children are not affected in any way by this fact and, even, they believe that they will soon forget that it has happened.
Contrary to this belief, children and young people are capable of unconsciously perceiving this fact. What's more, discovering this infidelity either unconsciously or consciously can have a dangerous effect on your emotional development and for the acquisition of social skills.
Various studies affirm, contrary to what can be believed, that when one parent is unfaithful, the children will feel betrayed. In such a way that children will react, in general, with feelings of anger, sadness, shame, and they will feel confused.
Children's reactions to infidelity are more specific and vary according to their age. A) Yes:
- When they are less than 5 years old. Children come to detect that parents do not pay as much attention as before, so they begin to demand more affection than before. Because they don't get what they demand it can increase their anxiety level. In addition, these children will grow up with a feeling of insecurity and develop a fear of abandonment, which creates a feeling of uncertainty that will accompany them during their evolution and may affect their partners in the future if no solution is sought.
- Children from 5 to 10 years old. In this age group, the feeling of guilt appears in children. This occurs because they believe they are guilty of adult behavior. Because of this, it is common for children to have symptoms of regression to an earlier stage of their development such as re-wetting the bed, experiencing night terrors, or suffering from eating disorders.
- In adolescence. At this stage, the child is more likely to discover if one of his parents is unfaithful because his understanding of the "social world" is greater. At this age, one of the worst cases can occur and that is that he is forced to act as an accomplice of the unfaithful father. Being the custodian of this "secret" causes them to develop strong feelings of guilt. In addition, the little ones will be withdrawn and lonely, losing their confidence in themselves.
- Young adults. Even if the children are over 18 years old, the infidelity of the parents can also affect and be harmful. Their reaction to this situation is to be excessively rigid in their relationships with others since they are very sensitive to believing that any type of infidelity can occur. In fact, 75% develop a state of mistrust such that it is impossible for them to have a healthy and lasting relationship.
It is true that children, especially when they are very young, do not have enough emotional maturity to be able to understand the problems of adults. But instead, they need to be able to understand the changes that have occurred so avoiding the issue is not an option.
Children need to talk to both parents and it is extremely important that they do so. Therefore, a positive solution is for parents to agree on the information they want to share with their child.
Depending on each child, parents may need to speak to them multiple times, even daily. So many times talking once and letting it go is not enough.
When both parents discuss the issue with their children it is important that It is emphasized how much they are loved and that they are still loved by both and that will not change. In addition, it will be necessary to reassure them and reaffirm that they are not the root of the problem to combat fears and insecurities that appear in the child.
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