The sad reality is that not only in Brazil, but globally, paternity abandonment is a problem that affects families and, if left unresolved, can lead to extra burdens and feelings of guilt in a single mother – there are 12 million women in the country. , According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) – and in infants, who may also experience the effects of a father’s absence in adult life.
It is important to note, however, that children are different, complex and Facing a situation of parental abandonment can work in multiple ways – Considering, mainly, age group and understanding that he is capable of the situation. The family and school environment where they are placed also affects the response of the young, as well as the support (or lack thereof) of other family members and close friends.
Meliane Gomes Lima, a psychologist at Vibe Saúde, explains that, typically, by the age of six, children begin to have a wider range of vocabulary, which in turn contributes to the acquisition of knowledge in the face of more complex situations. He emphasizes that age is a level of ancestral abandonment to understand a situation Will vary from child to child and is directly linked to cognitive development. Identify the moment you talk to her about the abandonment, then, the responsibility of the child’s guardian, with the professional team that accompanies him.
Eloise Franco, a psychologist and coordinator at the Multidisciplinary Clinic Art, says that children between the ages of two and three are already able to understand the environment in which they live and can therefore be guided by their abandonment. The family works according to the limitations that it normally presents.
Take care not to blame the baby.
With age in mind, it is important to explain to the child honestly about the abandonment of the parent so that he can begin to understand his inner reality. Experts point out the importance of this, Let the child know that it is not his fault.
“It is important to use clear words for the stage at which the baby will be introduced. Although childish when presenting, it is common for them to express feelings of rejection already verbally. Excessive jealousy, insecurity, mood swings and intense need “Everything according to age group”, Melian gives an example, also suggests that when talking to the youngest about abandonment, the responsible person explains that despite the sadness and pain comes with truth, there are other sources of love and affection within the family environment.
Eloise recommends an honestly conducted dialogue that clearly explains the context in which she is inserted and what it is. She will no longer have a relationship with her father, But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Don’t feed on fantasy or false promises
Children, naturally, imagine the situation, as if the parents would come back. Despite the difficulty, in this case, it is essential that the mother points out the real events of her life and always answers all the doubts of the little ones with sincerity and without the need for cruelty or imagination.
Avoid saying Dad has traveled, he has left for work or he will say “come back”, For example. All of this, emphasizing Melian, tends to create empty expectations in the baby, which is a Increased anxiety and frustrationSince the return will not happen. The way, then, is to intervene in a calm and welcoming way, noting that the person has chosen to go.
“Maintaining direct contact can be an option that will reduce ongoing suffering and anxiety. Of course, such ‘rules’ will always vary from person to person and for this reason, it is legal to follow a mental health professional to enable this communication to take place “, he added.
Other family members are equally important in this process.
In order for the child not to suffer further, family members and close family members besides the mother must work through the process of abandonment, preaching, listening, answering questions – until everyone in the family tells the truth. And with similar lines – and, above all, Respect the child’s feelingsEloize instructions.
“They can help the child by creating opportunities for them to be social, that is, taking them on outings where they can interact with other children. The family must have a support network for the mothers, which helps in the care and development of the child, ”said the psychologist, while emphasizing the vital role of other men in the family: it may be that your child Familiarity with great-uncles, brothers or cousins And for that reason, they must be good examples.
Being a good listener and, obviously, not making threats or jokes that contribute to the child’s emotional trauma in the face of parental abandonment is very important, Melian said. The role of family will be important for this Children understand that the family environment is safeAnd that he is surrounded by protection, love and understanding.
“From these actions, this child will imagine a participatory family, and realize that he can trust his family members in different situations where, subconsciously, the image of the father may be needed, who will be absent,” he explains.
Watch for possible behavioral changes
As mentioned earlier, each child is different, that is, they may have different reactions to parental abandonment. Eloise said some may not have behavioral problems, others may become more aggressive, may ask questions about their father, may imagine their father’s character, isolation, difficulty at school, low self-esteem, excessive fear, insecurity. And yet, lack of confidence in other people.
Initially, it is common to detect behavioral changes in the school environment, which can lead to loss of attention in class and poor performance. Attacks of anxiety, boredom and loss of appetiteMeliane’s list is of concern.
Seek professional help
When noticing any of the above symptoms, psychologists say that adults responsible for a child should seek professional help. If she goes to school, it is important for the family to ask for adjustment if there is any change Behavior changes have been observed since the dropout.
However, since it is not possible to predict exactly what the child’s reaction will be when facing parental abandonment, it is recommended that psychological help be sought as soon as the situation arises. As soon as a child has the support of a qualified specialist and begins to function properly with emotion, Melian believes, the consequences of abandonment will be less, which is often inevitable. Here, we further emphasize the importance of specialized professionals for children.
In addition to emotional support for the child, often It is very important that the mother wants helpMainly with the intention of working Maternal guilt and burden after abandonment. For Melian, guilt is a feeling that is fed into each person’s life context and having a clear view of what happened through professional observation will be fundamental in the face of the mourning process.
“It’s important that mothers recognize this first It’s not their fault, it’s Dad’s fault. For this, a support network that the mother believes in and that will help the child’s development is crucial, but if the feeling persists, seek emotional help, “added Eloise.
Pay attention to the child!
In addition to therapy, Meliane offers, in addition to establishing strong family relationships It is important to respect the grief of abandonment that the child is feeling, As well as strengthening her social interactions with family and friends, allowing her to gain confidence, which should be strengthened whenever possible. It’s normal to be in a time of self-discovery and coping, and it’s important to show emotional support – if you need help with this, go to the therapist to align yourself with the possible ways to deal with the situation. Child, according to his knowledge.
Mothers can exceed the safety and limits of their children, Eloise says, and this is possible by setting good examples and strengthening positive behavior: talk about the child’s qualities and abilities and show that there are other people in the family – uncles, grandparents, brothers, cousins - who love them very much. At this point, full attention should be focused on the baby.
Finally, similarly, textbooks and books that bring stories of separation, drawing and humorous games with family themes, while they always bring real context, clear and purposeful conversation, rich resources.
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