No matter the circumstances of a divorce, children of a splitting family tend to suffer the most, and according to Psychology Today, many experience a role reversal when one or both of the parents turn to their kids to have a variety of emotional needs met. This can have a crippling mental effect on a child who is already questioning his or her future as a co-parented individual.
Role changes, as well as other problems, tend to arise when divorced parents share physical custody of their children, and learning to recognize them may help parents prevent mental strain in the future.
Uneven parental support
Children whose parents have shared physical custody may often feel that one parent offers more support than the other, or that one parent understands his or her needs better than the other. This can cause feelings of sadness or anger in the children, who may feel neglected by that parent. Older children, such as teenagers, may experience these feelings more intensely.
Some children may feel that they are not worth one parent’s time or that he or she did not fight hard enough for full custody in court. They may feel unwanted or that this perceived lack of love is their doing. Divorced couples who share physical custody of their children may want to encourage their kids to talk about these feelings and create an open dialog between everyone involved.
Shared physical custody can have some advantages for both parents and kids. However, each parent must strive to maintain a balance to ensure their children can handle the divorce in a healthy manner.