Every Friday, little Anmol is allowed to stay with one of his parents as per court orders where the parents have filed for a separation. The court like any other had given the couple time to reconsider their decision and both Atul and Manisha were already missing each other. Yet, there were no signs of either of them compromising and the one who suffered the most was 8 year old Anmol, their first born.
Anmol loved his mother and father deeply but couldn't understand why he was having to stay with his father on the weekends and with his mother over the weekdays. He enjoyed both. In such a scenario however, Anmol's mental tension could be seen in his scores during the periodic tests. His scores had gone down. Problems between the parents, and their absence leaves children's emotional needs unmet, especially in their first six years of life, making them candidates for mental diseases later on in life.
However, things also go much deeper than this especially when children cherish their parents being always around them and the parents are not with them- whether it's in a hostel, or whether like Anmol, visit one parent at a time .What is emotional support after all? “Essentially, emotional support entails just being available when your child needs you. You must always be with the child for guidance because the child could be doing wrong things, thinking they were right.
Dr. Nahor pointed out that in a case where the parents were not always around, sometimes care givers like the grandmother, uncle or aunty could be substitutes that provide the emotional support to the a child once both relate well with each other. Sometimes, some grandmothers or family members are closer to their grandchildren than even their biological parents. If such a relationship occurs, then the child may not feel the emotional pinch so much. However, there is no substitute for the child's parent to provide the required emotional support.
The emotional support is crucial to the development of children's personalities and self-esteem. Dr. Nahor said common mental illnesses which children experience due to emotional neglect early in life might be prone to the same later in life with adjustment disorders, anxiety and sexual dysfunction. Thus a strong foundation in the early years of good parental support and love can increase the child's confidence, while a weak foundation such as the parents' absence in early years can increase the odds of difficulties occurring later, including depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse.