• Frank Furedi
  • Frank Furedi
  • Sociologist, commentator and author

There’s always a loser in a custody battle – it’s the child

In such circumstances parental conflict is amplified by fears that the child will adopt an alien identity and will be lost to the family.

As other members of the family assert their claim, it is all too easy to overlook what is in the best interest of the child.

Feuding partners have a tendency to fight their wars through their offspring. Invariably they incite their child to take sides and lose sight of the fact youngsters need to believe that both their mother and father have their best interest at heart.

All too frequently parents and family members get so caught up in the unfolding drama that they resort to acts of emotional blackmail and manipulation to undermine the child’s relation with the other side.

Yet the disruption of a child’s relation with a parent disorients the life of the youngster. Forcing a youngster to take sides diminishes the foundation for a child’s development.

In such circumstances a child can never make the right choice. Whichever parent wins the battle, the child is most likely to come out as the loser.

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