The separation of parents is in itself a burden for children. If a new partner suddenly comes along - a stranger to the child - it can be even more stressful. Children are skeptical and insecure. They are afraid of losing their father or mother to the new person. Some children see the new relationship as personal competition for their own relationship with their mother or father. Children often see the stranger as a competitor to the other parent, the biological mother or the biological father. This can lead to the child's sense of justice prohibiting them from accepting the new man or woman at mom or dad's side. It becomes even more difficult when mother or father agitate against their ex's new partnership.
Suddenly the child finds itself in a whirlpool of different interests and emotions, with at least one parent consciously or unconsciously instrumentalizing the child - putting their own interests above those of their son or daughter. The child finds itself in an intolerable situation: a loyalty conflict. Stefan Rücker, family psychologist with a focus on child protection, explains why such behavior endangers the child's well-being and reveals how everyone involved can deal with the situation in the best possible way.
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