Siblings form extremely close bonds with one another as they grow older. Even siblings with different parents who grow up in the same house will probably struggle if separated because they have shared experiences and lives with one another for quite some time. Parents should work to help siblings maintain their relationships after a divorce or break up.
Separation anxiety can be a profound difficulty for children who are going through a difficult divorce. Children can become extremely anxious and sad about losing a parent and may worry that they will never see that parent again. When you take siblings away from one another, the separation anxiety that they already fear may grow and worsen. The length of time that the children have lived together as siblings matters more than the fact that they have two different fathers. Being separated from a sibling may cause them to fear that they will never see their beloved sibling again.
Research has shown that the bond between siblings is one of the strongest bonds that can be formed. This is because the relationship between siblings often outlasts any other relationship. Siblings grow together and heal together after their parents and other family members have passed away. If siblings are separated at a young age, they may not be able to keep their bond strong since they are no longer living together and seeing each other every day, which can be devastating.
No One to Relate To
When siblings with different parents are separated it is often because of a break-up, divorce or death in the family. Siblings are often the best at communicating with one another. They understand exactly what the other one is feeling and experiencing. Unlike their parents, who are emotionally involved in the separation, siblings do not have the same type of relationship. They often do not have a loyalty to one parent over the other and it can therefore be hard for them to communicate with their parents fairly about how the situation is making them feel.
Promotes Unhealthy Alliances
When siblings are torn apart from one another because of a separation, unhealthy alliances between families may form. Children should have as many adults in their lives as possible to love them and support them into adulthood. When children are separated from one another, they only have their parent to communicate with about the event. Had the siblings been kept together, they may have been more likely to communicate with one another and avoid the alliances altogether.
- The Law Office of Brenda McCune; Splitting the Babies: Should the Court Ever Separate Siblings?
- New York State Citizen's Coalition for Children; What Parents Need to Know
- The Liz Library; Separating Siblings
- Australian Institute of Family Studies; Split Residence: an Opportunity for Cooperative Parenting; Bruce Hawthorne