Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coping with Inconsistent Parent Access

Children develop their sense of self and place in the world through their relationship to their parents. A child’s self esteem is built on the notion that, “I am of value as a person to the degree to which my parents take interest in me.” Children feel their parents’ interest in them by the amount of time spent with them. Many parents talk of quality time, but the best indicator of quality is quantity and consistency. These days when parents speak of quality, they really mean that they do not spend much time with their child, but when they do, they spoil them. This is not good for children. Rather, children need ample and regular attention from both parents in their normal living situations. Let’s face it, we only do spend time with people we value and children feel this.

When a parent is not active in a child’s life, the child may be emotionally crushed, feeling unworthy. As such, the child may no longer strive to succeed socially, academically and later, economically. Some children may even demonstrate these feelings of unworthiness through disruptive behavior. Alternately, some children develop rich fantasy lives to protect themselves from feelings of worthlessness. They tell themselves their parent must be doing very important things otherwise they would surely be here. Such children grow up with unrealistic views of other people and relationships.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.
For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at


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