The challenges of empathetic parenting after divorce and the foundations of religious experience


  • Barbara Simonič, Ph.D. Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana


religious experience, parenting, child development, divorce


As well as the formation of general values, the formation of religious attitude, beliefs, and religious values is a lifelong process. An increasing number of studies show, however, that the foundations, on which the adult religiousness will be formed, are generally established in the very early childhood, and the child-parent relationship has a pivotal role here. In addition to the parents’ authentic and deep religiousness, the quality of bonding in this relationship is an important factor that plays a decisive role in whether children will adopt parents’ (religious) values and beliefs or they will be distance themselves from them or even reject them. Parenting is much more difficult in circumstances such as parents’ divorce. Divorce always brings change which may cause the lower quality of the child-parent relationship. This article aims at illustrating the basic dynamics of the family relations and parenting which are relevant to the formation of social, interpersonal, and religious values, and at pointing out those aspects where complications are most probable to occur. In this context, divorce is a challenge that renders everyone involved highly vulnerable.






Challenges for the family faith formation